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Notes 169 

Appendix 173 


Notes 257 



" Dux inquieti turbidus Adriae." 



The conspiracy of the Doge Marino Faliero 
is one of the most remarkable events in the 
annals of the most singular government, city, 
and people of modern history. It occurred in 
the year 1355. Every thing about Venice is, 
or was, extraordinary — her aspect is like a 
dream, and her history is like a romance. The 
story of this Doge is to be found in all her 
Chronicles, and particularly detailed in the 
" Lives of the Doges," by Marin Sanuto, 
which is given in the Appendix. It is simply 
and clearly related, and is perhaps more dra- 
matic in itself than any scenes which can be 
founded upon the subject. 

Marino Faliero appears to have been a man 
of talents and of courage. I find him com- 
mander in chief of the land forces at the siege 
of Zara, where he beat the King of Hungary 



and his army of 80,000 men, killing 8000 men, 
and keeping the besieged at the same time in 
check, an exploit to which I know none similar 
in history, except that of Caesar at Alesia, and 
of Prince Eugene at Belgrade. He was after- 
wards commander of the fleet in the same war. 
He took Capo d'Istria. He was ambassador at 
Genoa and Rome, at which last he received 
the news of his election to the Dukedom ; his 
absence being a proof that he sought it by no 
intrigue, since he was apprized of his predeces- 
sor's death and his own succession at the same 
moment. But lie appears to have been of an 
ungovernable temper. A story is told by Sa- 
nuto, of his having, many years before, when 
podesta and captain at Treviso, boxed the ears 
of the bishop, who was somewhat tardy in 
brin^ino: the Host. For this honest Sanuto 
*' saddles him with a judgment," as Thwackum 
did Square ; but he does not tell us whether 
he w^as punished or rebuked by the Senate for 
this outrage at the time of its commission. He 
seems, indeed, to have been afterwards at peace 
with the church, for we find him ambassador at 
Rome, and invested with the fief of Val di 
Marino, in the march of Treviso, and with the 
title of Count, by Lorenzo Count-Bishop of 
Ceneda. For these facts niv authorities are, 


Sanuto, Vettor Sandi, Andrea Navagero, and 
the account of the siege of Zara, first published 
by the indefatigable Abbate Morelli, in his 
" Monumenti Veneziani di varia letteratura," 
printed in 1796, all of which I have looked 
over in the original language. The moderns, 
Daru, Sismondi, and Laugier, nearly agree with 
the ancient chroniclers. Sismondi attributes 
the conspiracy to \\i^ jealousy ; but I find this 
nowhere asserted by the national historians. 
Vettor Sandi, indeed, says, that *' Altri scris 

sero die dalla gelosa suspizion di esso 

Doge siasi fatto (Michel Steno) staccar con 
violenza," &c. &c. ; but this appears to have 
been by no means the general opinion, nor is 
it alluded to by Sanuto or by Navagero, and 
Sandi himself adds a moment after, that " per 
altre Veneziane memorie traspiri, che non il 
solo desiderio di vendetta lo dispose alia con- 
giura ma anche la innata abituale ambizion sua, 
per cui anelava a farsi principe independente." 
The first motive appears to have been excited 
by the gross affront of the words written by 
Michel Steno on the ducal chair, and by the 
light and inadequate sentence of the Forty on 
the offender, who was one of their " tre Capi.'* 
The attentions of Steno himself appear to have 
been directed towards one of her damsels, and 


not to the " Dogaressa" herself, against whose 
fame not the sHghtest insinuation appears, while 
she is praised for her beauty, and remarked 
for her youth. Neither do I find it asserted 
(unless the hint of Sandi be an assertion) that 
the Doge was actuated by jealousy of his wife ; 
but rather by respect for her, and for his own 
honour, warranted by his past services and pre- 
sent dignity. 

'^0 I know not that the historical facts are 
alluded to in English, unless by Dr. Moore in 
his View of Italy. His account is false and 
flippant, full of stale jests about old men and 
young wives, and wondering at so great an 
effect from so slight a cause. How so acute 
and severe an observer of mankind as the 
author of Zeluco could wonder at this is in- 
conceivable. He knew that a basin of water 
spilt on Mrs. Masham's gown deprived the 
Duke of Marlborough of his command, and 
led to the inglorious peace of Utrecht — that 
Louis XIV. was plunged into the most deso- 
lating w^ars because his minister was nettled at 
his finding fault with a window, and wished to 
give him another occupation — that Helen lost 
Troy — that Lucretia expelled the Tarquins 
from Rome — and that Cava brought the Moors 


to Spain — ^that an insulted husband led the 
Gauls to Clusium, and thence to Rome — that 
a single verse of Frederick II. of Prussia on 
the Abb6 de Bernis, and a jest on Madame de 
Pompadour, led to the battle of Rosbach — that 
the elopement of Dearbhorgil with Mac Mur- 
chad conducted the English to the slavery of 
Ireland — that a personal pique between Maria 
Antoinette and the Duke of Orleans precipi- 
tated the first expulsion of the Bourbons — and, 
not to multiply instances, that Commodus, Do- 
mitian, and Caligula fell victims not to their 
public tyranny, but to private vengeance — and 
that an order to make Cromwell disembark 
from the ship in which he would have sailed to 
America destroyed both king and common- 
wealth. After these instances, on the least re- 
flection, it is indeed extraordinary in Dr. Moore 
to seem surprised that a man, used to command, 
who had served and swayed in the most im- 
portant offices, should fiercely resent in a fierce 
age an unpunished affront, the grossest that can 
be offered to a man, be he prince or peasant. 
The age of Faliero is little to the purpose, unless 
to favour it. 

" The young man's wrath is like straw on fire, 
" But like red hot steel is the old man's ire.*' 


" Young men soon give and soon forget affronts, 
*' Old age is slow at both." 

Laugier's reflections are more philosophical : 
• — " Tale fh il fine ignominioso di un' uomo, 
che la sua nascit^, la sua eta, il suo carattere 
dovevano tener lontano dalle passioni produt- 
trici di grandi delitti. I suoi talenti per lungo 
tempo esercitati ne' maggiori impieghi, la sua 
capacita sperimentata ne' govern! e nelle am- 
basciate, gli avevano acquistato la stima e la 
fiducia de' cittadini, ed avevano uniti i suffragj 
per collocarlo alia testa della republica. In- 
nalzato ad un grado che terminava gloriosa- 
menta la sua vita, il risentimento di un' in- 
giuria leggiera insinuo nel suo cuore tal veleno 
che basto a corrompere le antiche sue qualita, 
e a condurlo al termine dei scellerati ; serio 
esempio, che prova non esservi etd, in cui la 
prudenza umana sia sicura^ e che ntlV uomo 
restano sempre passioni capaci a disonorarlo, 
quando non invigili sopra se stesso," — Laugier, 
Italian translation^ vol. iv. page 30, 31. 

AVhere did Dr. Moore find that Marino Fa- 
liero begged his life ? I have searched the 
chroniclers, and find nothing of the kind ; it is 


true that he avowed all. He was conducted to 
the place of torture, but there is no mention 
made of any application for mercy on his part ; 
and the very circumstance of their having taken 
him to the rack seems to argue any thing but 
his having shown a want of firmness, which 
would doubtless have been also mentioned by 
those minute historians who by no means favour 
him : such, indeed, would be contrary to his 
character as a soldier, to the age in which he 
lived, and at which he died, as it is to the truth 
of history. I know no justification at any 
distance of time for calumniating an historical 
character ; surely truth belongs to the dead, 
and to the unfortunate, and they who have died 
upon a scaffold have generally had faults enough 
of their own, without attributing to them that 
which the very incurring of the perils which 
conducted them to their violent death renders, 
of all others, the most improbable. The black 
veil which is painted over the place of Marino 
Faliero amongst the doges, and the Giant's Stair- 
case where he was crowned, and discrowned, 
and decapitated, struck forcibly upon my ima- 
gination, as did his fiery character and strange 
story. I went in 1819 in search of his tomb 
more than once to the church San Giovanni e 
San Paolo, and as I was standing before the 


monument of another family, a priest came up 
to me and said, " I can show you finer monu- 
ments than that." I told him that I was in 
search of that of the Faliero family, and par- 
ticularly of the Doge Marino's. " Oh," said 
he, " I will show it you ;" and conducting me 
to the oiitside, pointed out a sarcophagus in the 
wall with an illegible inscription. He said that 
it had b^en in a convent adjoining, but was re- 
moved after the French came, and placed in its 
present situation ; that he had seen the tomb 
opened at its removal ; there were still some 
bones remaining, but no positive vestige of the 
decapitation. The equestrian statue of which 
I have made mention in the third act as before 
that church is not, however, of a Faliero, but of 
some other now obsolete warrior, although of a 
later date. There were two other Doges of 
this family prior to Marino : Ordelafo, who fell 
in battle at Zara in 11 17 (where his descendant 
afterwards conquered the Huns), and Vital Fa- 
liero, who reigned in 1082. The family, ori- 
ginally from Fano, was of the most illustrious 
in blood and wealth in the city of once the most 
wealthy and still the most ancient families in 
Europe. The length I have gone into on this 
subject will show the interest I have taken in 
it. Whether I have succeeded or not in the 


tragedy, I have at least transferred into our 
language an historical fact worthy of com- 

It is now four years that I have meditated 
this work, and before I had sufficiently examined 
the records, I was rather disposed to have made 
it turn on a jealousy in Faliero. But perceiving 
no foundation for this in historical truth, and 
aware that jealousy is an exhausted passion in 
the drama, I have given it a more historical 
form. I was besides well advised by the late 
Matthew Lewis on that point, in talking with 
him of my intention at Venice in I8I7. "If 
" you make him jealous," said he, " recollect 
" that you have to contend with established 
" writers, to say nothing of Shakespeare, and 
" an exhausted subject ; — stick to the old fiery 
" Doge's natural character, which will bear you 
" out, if properly drawn ; and make your plot 
" as regular as you can." Sir William Drum- 
mond gave me nearly the same counsel. How 
far I have followed these instructions, or whether 
they have availed me, is not for me to decide. 
I have had no view to the stage ; in its pre- 
sent state it is, perhaps, not a very exalted 
object of ambition; besides I have been too 
much behind the scenes to have thought it so 

xviii PREFACE. 

at any time. And I cannot conceive any man of 
irritable feeling putting himself at the mercies 

of an audience : the sneering reader, and 

the loud critic, and the tart review, are scat- 
tered and distant calamities ; but the trampling 
of an intelligent or of an ignorant audience 
on a production which, be it good or bad, has 
been a mental labour to the writer, is a palpa- 
ble and immediate grievance, heightened by 
a man's doubt of their competency to judge, 
and his certainty of his own imprudence in 
electing them his judges. Were I capable of 
writing a play which could be deemed stage- 
worthy, success would give me no pleasure, and 
failure great pain. It is for this reason that 
even during the time of being one of the com- 
mittee of one of the theatres, I never made 
the attempt, and never will *. But surely there 

* While I was in the sub-committee of Drury Lane Theatre, 
I can vouch for my colleagues, and I hope for myself, that 
we did our best to bring back the legitimate drama. I tried 
what I could to get " De Montfort" revived, but in vain, and 
equally in vain in favour of Sotheby's " Ivan," which was 
thought an acting play ; and I endeavoured also to wake 
Mr. Coleridge to write a tragedy. Those who are not in the 
secret will hardly believe that the " School for Scandal" is 
the play which has brought least money, averaging the num- 
ber of times it has been acted since its production j so 
Manager Dibdin assured me. Of what has occurred since 

piip:face. XIX 

is dramatic power somewhere, where Joanna 
Baillie, and Mihnan, and John Wilson exist. 
The " City of the Plague" and the " Fall of 
Jerusalem" are full of the best " materier* for 

Maturin*s ''Bertram," I am not aware 3 so that I may be 
traducing, through ignorance, some excellent new writers ; 
if so, I beg their pardon. I have been absent from England 
nearly five years, and, till last year, I never read an English 
newspaper since my departure, and am now only aware of 
theatrical matters through the medium of theParisian Gazette 
of Galignani, and only for the last twelve months. Let me 
then deprecate all offence to tragic or comic writers, to 
whom I wish well, and of whom I know nothing. The long 
complaints of the actual state of the drama arise, however, 
from no fault of the performers. I can conceive nothing 
better than Kemble, Cooke, and Kean,in their very different 
manners, or than EUiston in gentleman^ s comedy, and in 
some parts of tragedy. Miss O'Neill I never saw, having 
made and kept a determination to see nothing which should 
divide or disturb my recollection of Siddons. Siddons and 
Kemble were the ideal of tragic action 3 I never saw any 
thing at all resembling them even in person : for this reason, 
we shall never see again Coriolanus or Macbeth. When 
Kean is blamed for want of dignity, we should remember 
that it is a grace and not an art, and not to be attained by 
study. In all, not supERnatural parts, he is perfect; even 
his very defects belong, or seem to belong, to the ptirts 
themselves, and appear truer to nature. But of Kemble we 
may say, with reference to his acting, what the Cardinal de 
Retz said of the Marquis of Montrose, " that he was the 
** only man he ever saw who reminded him of the heroesj of 
*« riiitarcli." 


tragedy that has been seen since Horace Wal- 
pole, except passages of Ethwald and De Mont- 
fort. It is the fashion to underrate Horace 
Walpole; firstly, because he was a nobleman, 
and secondly, because he was a gentleman ; but 
to say nothing of the composition of his incom- 
parable letters, and of the Castle of Otranto, he 
is the " Ultimus Romanorum," the author of 
the Mysterious Mother, a tragedy of the highest 
order, and not a puling love-play. He is the 
father of the first romance, and of the last 
tragedy in our language, and surely worthy of 
a higher place than any living writer, be he 
who he may. 

In speaking of the drama of Marino Faliero, I 
forgot to mention that the desire of preserving, 
though still too remote, a nearer approach to 
unity than the irregularity, which is the re- 
proach of the English theatrical compositions, 
permits, has induced me to represent the con- 
spiracy as already formed, and the Doge ac- 
ceding to it, whereas in fact it was of his own 
preparation and that of Israel Bertuccio. The 
other characters (except that of the duchess), 
incidents, and almost the time, which was 
wonderfully short for such a design in real life, 
are strictly historical, except that all the con- 


sultations took place in the palace. Had I 
followed this, the unity would have been better 
preserved ; but I wished to produce the Doge 
in the full assembly of the conspirators, instead 
of monotonously placing him always in dialogue 
with the same individuals. For the real facts, I 
refer to the extracts given in the Appendix in 
Italian, with a translation. 





Marino Faliero, Doge of Venice, 

Bertuccio FalierOj Nephew of the Doge. 

LiONif a Patrician and Senator. 

Benintende, Chief of the Council of Ten. 

Michel Steno, one of the three Capi of the Forty. 

Israel Bertuccio, Chief of \ 

the Arsenal, I 

Philip Calendaro, \ Conspirators, 

Dagolino, 1 

Bertram, J 

^ , ,^. , c^^ Simore diNotte^* one of the Officers 
Signor of the Night, \ ^,, . ,„„. 

t belonging to the Republtc. 

First Citizen, 

Second Citizen, 

Third Citizen. 


PiETRO, ^Officers belonging to the Ducal Palace, 

B ATT 1ST A, ^ 

Secretary of the Council of Ten, 
Guards, Conspirators, Citizens, The Council of Ten, 
The Giunta, Sfc, Sfc. 


Angiolina, Wife to the Doge. 
Marianna, her Friend. 

Female Attendants, Sfc. 

Scene Venice — in the year 1355. 

B 2 



An Antechamber in the Ducal Palace, 
PiETRo speaks, in entering, to Battista. 


Is not the messenger retum'd ? • 


Not yet ; 
I have sent frequently, as you commanded, 
But still the Signory is deep in council 
And long debate on Steno''s accusation. 


Too long — at least so thinks the Doge. 


How bears he 
These moments of suspense ? 


With struggling patience. 
Placed at the ducal table, covered o'er 
With all the apparel of the state ; petitions. 


Despatches, judgments, acts, reprieves, reports. 

He sits as rapt in duty ; but whene'er 

He hears the jarring of a distant door, 

Or aught that intimates a coming step, 

Or murmur of a voice, his quick eye wanders. 

And he will start up from his chair, then pause. 

And seat himself again, and fix his gaze 

Upon some edict ; but I have observed 

For the last hour he has not turn''d a leaf. 


'Tis said he is much moved, and doubtless 't was 
Foul scorn in Steno to offend so grossly. 


Ay, if a poor man : Steno 's a patrician, 
Young, galhard, gay, and haughty. 


Tlien you think 
He will not be judged hardly. 


'Twere enough 
He be judged justly ; but 'tis not for us 
To anticipate the sentence of the Forty. 


And here it comes. — What news, Vincenzo ? 
Enter Vincenzo. 



Decided ; but as yet his doom's unknown : 
I saw the president in act to seal 


The parchment which will bear the Forty"*s judgment 
Unto the Doge, and hasten to inform him. [Exeunt. 


The Ducal Chamber. 

Marino Faliero, Doge; and his nepJiew Bertuccio 

BERTUCCIO faliero. 

It cannot be but they will do you justice. 


Ay, such as the Avogadori did. 

Who sent up my appeal unto the Forty 

To try him by his peers, his own tribunal. 

BERTUCCIO faliero. 

His peers will scarce protect him ; such an act 
Would bring contempt on all authority. 

Know you not Venice ? Know you not the Forty ? 
But we shall see anon. 

BERTUCCIO FALIERO (addressing Vincenzo, then 
How now — what tidings ? 


I am charged to tell his highness that the court 
Has pass'*d its resolution, and that, soon 


As the due forms of judgment are gone through, 
The sentence ^vill be sent up to the Doge ; 
In the mean time the Forty doth salute 
The Prince of the RepubHc, and entreat 
His acceptation of their duty. 


They are wondVous dutiful, and ever humble. 
Sentence is past, you say ? 


It is, your highness : 
The president was sealing it, when I 
Was caird in, that no moment might be lost 
In forwarding the intimation due 
Not only to the Chief of the Republic 
But the complainant, both in one united. 


Are you aware, from aught you have perceived. 
Of their decision ? 


No, my lord ; you know 
The secret custom of the courts in Venice. 


True ; but there still is something given to guess. 

Which a shrewd gleaner and quick eyjs would catch at ; 

A whisper, or a murmur, or an air 

More or less solemn spread o''er the tribunal. 

The Forty are but men — most worthy men. 

And wise, and just, and cautious — this I grant — 

And secret as the grave to which they doom 


The guilty ; but with all this, in their aspects — • 
At least in some, the juniors of the number — 
A searching eye, an eye hke yours, Vincenzo, 
Would read the sentence ere it was pronounced. 


My lord, I came away upon the moment. 
And had no leisure to take note of that 
Which pass'd among the judges, even in seeming ; 
My station near the accused too, Michel Steno, 

Made me 

DOGE {ahrwptly.) 
And how look''d he ? deliver that. 


Calm, but not overcast, he stood resigned 
To the decree, whatever it were ; — ^but lo ! 
It comes, for the perusal of his highness. 

Enter the Secret aey of the Forty. 


The high tribunal of the Forty sends 
Health and respect to the Doge Faliero, 
Chief magistrate of Venice, and requests 
His highness to peruse and to approve 
The sentence past on Michel Steno, born 
Patrician, and arraigned upon the charge 
Contained, together with its penalty, 
Within the rescript which I now present. 


Retire, and wait without. — Take thou this paper : 

[Exeunt Secretary and Vincenzo. 

10 MARINO FALIERO, act i. 

The misty letters vanish from my eyes ; 
I cannot fix them. 


Patience, my dear uncle : 
Why do you tremble thus ? — nay, doubt not, all 
Will be as could be wish"'d. 


Say on. 

" Decreed 
" In council, without one dissenting voice, 
" That Michel Steno, by his own confession, 
" Guilty on the last night of Carnival 
" Of having graven on the ducal throne 
" The following words ^" 


Would'*st thou repeat them ? 
Would'st thou repeat them — thou, a Fahero, 
Harp on the deep dishonour of our house. 
Dishonoured in its chief — that chief the prince 
Of Venice, first of cities ? — To the sentence. 


Forgive me, my good lord ; I will obey — 
{Reads.) " That Michel Steno be detained a month 
"In close arrest." 




My lord, "'tis finished. 


How, say you ? — fimsh"'d I Do I dream ? — ^"tis false — 


Give me the paper — {Snatches the paper, and reads) — 

" 'Tis decreed in council 
" That Michel Steno""' Nephew, thine arm ! 


Cheer up, be calm ; this transport is uncall**d for — 
Let me seek some assistance. 


Stop, sir — Stir not — 
'Tis past. 


I cannot but agree with you 
The sentence is too slight for the offence — 
It is not honourable in the Forty 
To affix so slight a penalty to that 
Which was a foul affront to you, and even 
To them, as being your subjects ; but His not 
Yet without remedy : you can appeal 
To them once more, or to the Avogadori, - 
Who, seeing that true justice is withheld, 
Will now take up the cause they once declined. 
And do you right upon the bold delinquent. 
Think you not thus, good uncle ? why do you stand 
So fix'd ? You heed me not : — I pray you, hear me ! 

DoGE, (dashing' down the ducal bonnet, and offering 

to trample upon it, exclaims, as he is withheld 

hy his nephew) 
Oh ! that the Saracen were in Saint Mark's I 
Thus would I do him homage. 


For the sake 
Of Heaven and all its saints, my lord 

12 MARINO FALIERO, act i. 


Away ! 
Oh, that the Genoese were in the port ! 
Oh, that the Huns whom I ©""erthrew at Zara 
Were ranged around the palace ! 


'Tis not well 
In Venice** Duke to say so. 


Venice' Duke I 
W^ho now is Duke in Venice ? let me see him, 
That he may do me right. 


If you forget 
Your office, and its dignity and duty, 
Remember that of man, and curb this passion. 

The Duke of Venice 

DOGE (inter ?'upting' him.) 

There is no such thing — 
It is a word — nay, worse — a worthless by-word : 
The most despised, wrong'd, outraged, helpless wretch. 
Who begs his bread, if 'tis refused by one, 
May win it from another kinder heart ; 
But he, who is denied his right by those 
Whose place it is to do no wrong, is poorer 
Than the rejected beggar — ^he's a slave — 
And that am I, and thou, and all our house, 
Even from this hour ; the meanest artisan 
Will point the finger, and the haughty noble 
May spit upon us : — ^where is our redress ? 


The law, my prince r- 


DOGE (interrupting' him.) 

You see what it has done — 
I askM no remedy but from the law — 
I sought no vengeance but redress by law — 
I call'd no judges but those named by law — 
As sovereign, I appeaPd unto my subjects, 
The very subjects who had made me sovereign, 
And gave me thus a double right to be so. 
The rights of place and choice, of birth and service. 
Honours and years, these scars, these hoary hairs, 
The travel, toil, the perils, the fatigues, 
The blood and sweat of almost eighty years. 
Were weighed i'the balance, 'gainst the foulest stain, 
The grossest insult, most contemptuous crime 
Of a rank, rash patrician — and found wanting ! 
And this is to be borne ? 


I say not that : — 
In case your fresh appeal should be rejected, 
We will find other means to make all even. 


Appeal again ! art thou my brother's son ? 

A scion of the house of Faliero ? 

The nephew of a Doge ? and of that blood 

Which hath already given three dukes to Venice ? 

But thou say'st well — we must be humble now. 


My princely uncle ! you are too much moved : — 
I grant it was a gross offence, and grossly 
Left >vithout fitting punishment ; but still 

l^* MARINO FALIEllO, act I. 

This fury doth exceed the provocation, 

Or any provocation : if we are wrong'd, 

We will ask justice ; if it be denied, 

We'll take it ; but may do all this in calmness — 

Deep Vengeance is the daughter of deep Silence. 

I have yet scarce a third part of your years, 

I love our house, I honour you, its chief, 

The guardian of my youth, and its instructor — 

But though I understand your grief, and enter 

In part of your disdain, it doth appal me 

To see your anger, Hke our Adrian waves, 

Cersweep all bounds, and foam itself to air. 


I tell thee — must I tell thee — what thy father 
Would have required no words to comprehend .? 
Hast thou no feeling save the external sense 
Of torture from the touch ? hast thou no soul — 
No pride — no passion — no deep sense of honour ? 


'Tis the first time that honour has been doubted. 
And were the last, from any other sceptic. 


You know the full offence of this bom villain, 
This creeping, coward, rank, acquitted felon. 
Who threw his sting into a poisonous hbel. 
And on the honour of — Oh God ! — ^my wife. 
The nearest, dearest part of all men''s honour. 
Left a base slur to pass from mouth to mouth 
Of loose mechanics, with all coarse foul comments. 
And villanous jests, and blasphemies obscene ; 


SC. II. 


While sneering nobles, in more polish'd guise, 
Whisper'd the tale, and smiled upon the he 
Which made me look like them — a courteous wittol, 
Patient — ay, proud, it may be, of dishonour. 


But still it was a lie — you knew it false, 
And so did all men. 


Nephew, the high Roman 
Said, " Caesar's wife must not even be suspected,'" 
And put her from him. 


True — ^but in those days — 


What is it that a Roman would not suffer. 
That a Venetian prince must bear ? Old Dandolo 
Refused the diadem of all the Caesars, 
And wore the ducal cap I trample on, 
Because 'tis now degraded. 


'Tis even so. 


It is — it is : — I did not visit on 
The innocent creature thus most vilely slander'd 
Because she took an old man for her lord. 
For that he had been long her father's friend 
And patron of her house, as if there were 
No love in woman's heart but lust of youth 
And beardless faces ; — I did not for this 


Visit the villain's infamy on her, 
But craved my country's justice on his head, 
The justice due unto the humblest being 
Who hath a wife whose faith is sweet to him. 
Who hath a home whose hearth is dear to him, 
Who hath a name whose honour 's all to him, 
When these are tainted by the accursing breath 
Of calumny and scorn. 


And what redress 
Did you expect as his fit punishment ? 


Death ! Was I not the sovereign of the state — 
Insulted on his very throne, and made 
A mockery to the men who should obey me ? 
Was I not injured as a husband .'' scom'd 
As man ? reviled, degraded, as a prince ? 
Was not offence like his a complication 
Of insult and of treason ? — and he lives ! 
Had he instead of on the Doge's throne 
Stampt the same brand upon a peasant's stool, 
His blood had gilt the threshold ; for the carle 
Had stabb'd him on the instant. 


Do not doubt it. 
He shall not live till sunset — Cleave to me 
The means, and calm yourself. 


Hold, nephew : this 


Would have sufficed but yesterday ; at present 
I have no further wrath against this man. * 


What mean you ? is not the offence redoubled 
By this most rank — I will not say — acquittal ; 
For it is worse, being full acknowledgment 
Of the offence, and leaving it unpunished ? 


It is redoubled, but not now by him : 

The Forty hath decreed a month^s arrest — 

We must obey the Forty. 


Obey them ! 
Who have forgot their duty to the sovereign ? 


Why, yes ; — ^boy, you perceive it then at last : 

Whether as fellow citizen who sues 

For justice, or as sovereign who commands it. 

They have defrauded me of both my rights 

(For here the sovereign is a citizen) ; 

But, notwithstanding, harm not thou a hair 

Of Steno's head — ^he shall not wear it long. 


Not twelve hours longer, had you left to me 

The mode and means : if you had calmly heard me, 

I never meant this miscreant should escape, 

But wish'd you to repress such gusts of passion, 

That we more surely might devise together 

His taking off. 

18 MARINO FALIERO, act i. 


No, nephew, he must hve ; 
At least, just now — a Ufe so vile as his 
Were nothing at this hour ; in th' olden time 
Some sacrifices ask''d a single victim, 
Great expiations had a hecatomb. 


Your wishes are my law ; and yet I fain 
Would prove to you how near unto my heart 
The honour of our house must ever be. 


Fear not; you shall have time and place of proof: 
But be not thou too rash, as I have been. 
I am ashamed of my own anger now ; 
I pray you, pardon me. 


Why that's my uncle ! 
The leader, and the statesman, and the chief 
Of commonwealths, and sovereign of himself ! 
I wondered to perceive you so forget 
All prudence in your fury at these years, 
Although the cause 


Ay, think upon the cause — 
Forget it not : — When you lie down to rest. 
Let it be black among your dreams ; and when 
The morn returns, so let it stand between 
The sun and you, as an ill omen'd cloud 
Upon a summer-day of festival : 
So will it stand to me ; — ^but speak not, stir not, — 


Leave all to me ; — we shall have much to do, 
And you shall have a part. — But now retire, 
'Tis fit I were alone. 


(taking up and placing the ducal bonnet on the table) 
Ere I depart, 
I pray you to resume what you have spumM, 
Till you can change it haply for a crown. 
And now I take my leave, imploring you 
In all things to rely upon my duty 
As doth become your near and faithful kinsman. 
And not less loyal citizen and subject. 

[Exit Bertuccio Faliero. 

DOGE (solus. J 

Adieu, my worthy nephew. — Hollow bauble ! 

[Taking up tlie ducal cap. 
Beset with all the thorns that line a crown. 
Without investing the insulted brow 
With the all-swaying majesty of kings ; 
Thou idle, gilded, and degraded toy, 
Let me resume thee as I would a vizor. [Puts it on. 

How my brain aches beneath thee ! and my temples 
Throb feverish under thy dishonest weight 
Could I not turn thee to a diadem ? 
Could I not shatter the Briarean sceptre 
Which in this hundred-handed senate rules. 
Making the people nothing, and the prince 
A pageant .''In my life I have achieved 
Tasks not less difficult — achieved for them. 
Who thus repay me ! — Can I not requite them ? 


20 MARINO FALIERO, act i. 

Oh for one year ! Oh ! but for even a day 
Of my full youth, while yet my body served 
My soul as serves the generous steed his lord, 
I would have dash'd amongst them, asking few 
In aid to overthrow these swoln patricians; 
But now I must look round for other hands 
To serve this hoary head ; — but it shall plan 
In such a sort as will not leave the task 
Herculean, though as yet 'tis but a chaos 
Of darkly-brooding thoughts : my fancy is 
In her first work, more nearly to the light 
Holding the sleeping images of things 
For the selection of the pausing judgment. — 

The troops are few in 

' Enter Vincenzo. 

There is one without 
Craves audience of your highness. 


I''m unwell — 
I can see no one, not even a patrician — 
Let him refer his business to the council. 


My lord, I will deliver your reply ; 

It cannot much import — he 's a plebeian, 

The master of a galley, I believe. 


How ! did you say the patron of a galley ? 
That is — I mean — a servant of the state : 
Admit him, he may be on public service. 

[Exit ViNCENZO. 

sc. II. DOGE OF VENICE. • 21 

DOGE (solus.) 

This patron may be sounded ; I will try him. 

I know the people to be discontented ; 

They have cause, since Sapienza^s adverse day, 

When Genoa conquered : they have further cause, 

Since they are nothing in the state, and in 

The city worse than nothing — mere machines. 

To serve the nobles'* most patrician pleasure. 

The troops have long arrears of pay, oft promised. 

And murmur deeply — any hope of change 

Will draw them forward : they shall pay themselves 

With plunder : — ^but the priests — I doubt the priesthood 

Will not be with us ; they have hated me 

Since that rash hour, when, madden'd with the drone, 

(01 smote the tardy bishop at Treviso, 

Quickening his holy march ; yet, ne''ertheless, 

They may be won, at least their chief at Rome, 

By some well-timed concessions ; but, above 

All things, I must be speedy ; at my hour 

Of twilight little light of hfe remains. 

Could I free Venice, and avenge my wrongs, 

I had hved too long, and willingly would sleep 

Next moment with my sires ; and, wanting this, 

Better that sixty of my fourscore years 

Had been already where — how soon, I care not — 

The whole must be extinguished ; — better that 

They ne'*er had been, than drag me on to be 

The thing these arch-oppressors fain would make me. 

Let me consider — of efficient troops 

There are three thousand posted at 

22 MARINO FALIERO, act i. 

Enter Vincenzo cmd Israel Bertuccio. 


May it please 
Your highness, the same patron whom I spake of 
Is here to crave your patience. 


Leave the chamber, 
Vincenzo. — 

[Exit Vincenzo. 
Sir, you may advance — what would you ? 




Of whom ? 


Of God and of the Doge. 


Alas ! my friend, you seek it of the twain 
Of least respect and interest in Venice. 
You must address the council. 


'Twere in vain; 
For he who injured me is one of them. 


There 's blood upon thy face — ^how came it there ? 


'Tis mine, and not the first I've shed for Venice, 
But the first shed by a Venetian hand : 
A noble smote me. 


Doth he live ? 



Not long — 
But for the hope I had and have, that you, 
My prince, yourself a soldier, will redress 
Him, whom the laws of discipline and Venice 
Permit not to protect himself; if not — 
I say no more. 


But something you would do — 
Is it not so ? 


I am a man, my lord. 


Why SO is he who smote you. 


He is called so ; 
Nay, more, a noble one — at least, in Venice : 
But since he hath forgotten that I am one. 
And treats me hke a brute, the brute may turn — 
Tis said the worm will. 


Say — ^his name and Hneage ? 




What was the cause ? or the pretext ? 


I am the chief of the arsenal, employed 
At present in repairing certain galleys 
But roughly used by the Genoese last year. 

24 MARINO FALIERO, act i. 

This morning comes the noble Barbaro 

Full of reproof, because our artisans 

Had left some frivolous order of his house. 

To execute the state's decree ; I dared 

To justify the men — ^he raised his hand ; — 

Behold my blood ! the first time it e'er flow'd 



Hav^ you long time served ? 


So long as to remember Zara's siege, 

And fight beneath the chief who beat the Huns there, 

Sometime my general, now the Doge Fahero. — 


How ! are we comrades ? — the state's ducal robes 
Sit newly on me, and you were appointed 
Chief of the arsenal ere I came from Rome ; 
So that I recognised you not. Who placed you ? 


The late Doge ; keeping still my old command 
As patron of a galley : my new office 
Was given as the reward of certain scars 
(So was your predecessor pleased to say) : 
I little thought his bounty would conduct me 
To hib successor as a helpless plaintiff; 
At least, in such a cause. 


Are you much hurt ? 


Irreparably in my self-esteem. 

sc. 11. DOGE OF VENICE. 25 


Speak out ; fear nothing : being stung at heart, 
What would you do to be revenged on this man ? 


That which I dare not name, and yet will do. 


Then wherefore came you here ? 


I come for justice, 
Because my general is Doge, and will not 
See his old soldier trampled on. Had any. 
Save Faliero, filPd the ducal throne. 
This blood had been wash'd out in other blood. 


You come to me for justice — unto ine I 
The Doge of Venice, and I cannot give it ; 
I cannot even obtain it — ^'twas denied 
To me most solemnly an hour ago. 


How says your highness ? 


Steno is condemned 
To a month's confinement 


What ! the same who dared 
To stain the ducal throne with those foul words. 
That have cried shame to every ear in Venice ? 


Ay, doubtless they have echo'd o'er the arsenal. 
Keeping due time with every hammer's clink 

26 MARINO FALIERO, act i. 

As a good jest to jolly artisans ; 
Or making chorus to the creaking oar, 
In the vile tune of every galley slave, 
Who, as he sung the merry stave, exulted 
He was not a shamed dotard like the Doge. 


Is ""t possible ? a month"'s imprisonment ! 
No more for Steno ? 


You have heard the offence, 
And now you know his punishment ; and then 
You ask redress of me ! Go to the Forty, 
Who pass''d the sentence upon Michel Steno ; 
They'll do as much by Barbaro, no doubt. 


Ah ! dared I speak my feelings ! 


Give them breath. 
Mine have no further outrage to endure. 


Then, in a word, it rests but on your word 
To punish and avenge — I will not say 
Mt/ petty wrong, for what is a mere blow, 
However vile, to such a thing as I am .'' — 
But the base insult done your state and person, 


You oveiTate my power, which is a pageant. 
This cap is not the monarch's crown ; these robes 
Might move compassion, like a beggar's rags ; 
Nay, more, a beggar's are his own, and these 


But lent to the poor puppet, who must play 
Its part with all its empire in this ermine. 


Wouldst thou be king ? 


Yes — of a happy people. 


Wouldst thou be sovereign lord of Venice ? 



If that the people shared that sovereignty, 
So that nor they nor I were further slaves 
To this overgrown aristocratic Hydra, 
The poisonous heads of whose envenomed body 
Have breathed a pestilence upon us all. 


Yet, thou wast born and still hast lived patrician. 


In evil hour was I so born ; my birth 

Hath made me Doge to be insulted : but 

I lived and toil'd a soldier and a servant 

Of Venice and her people, not the senate ; 

Their good and my own honour were my guerdon. 

I have fought and bled ; commanded, ay, and conquer'*d ; 

Have made and marr''d peace oft in embassies, 

As it might chance to be our country''s 'vantage ; 

Have traversed land and sea in constant duty. 

Through almost sixty years, and still for Venice, 

My fathers' and my birthplace, whose dear spires. 

Rising at distance o'er the blue Lagoon, 


It was reward enough for me to view 

Once more ; but not for any knot of men, 

Nor sect, nor faction, did I bleed or sweat I 

But would you know why I have done all this ? 

Ask of the bleeding peHcan why she 

Hath ripp''d her bosom ? Had the bird a voice. 

She'd tell thee 'twas for all her little ones. 


And yet they made thee duke. 


Thei/ made me so ; 
I sought it not, the flattering fetters met me 
Returning from my Roman embassy, 
And never having hitherto refused 
Toil, charge, or duty for the state, I did not, 
At these late years, decline wliat was the highest 
Of all in seeming, but of all most base 
In what we have to do and to endure : 
Bear witness for me thou, my injured subject. 
When I can neither right myself nor thee. 


You shall do both, if you possess the will ; 
And many thousands more not less oppressed, 
Who wait but for a signal — will you give it ? 


You speak in riddles. 


Which shall soon be read 
At peril of my Hfe ; if you disdain not 
To lend a patient ear. 



Say on. 


Not thou, 
Nor I alone, are injured and abused. 
Contemned, and trampled on ; but the whole people 
Groan with the strong conception of their wrongs : 
The foreign soldiers in the senate's pay 
Are discontented for their long arrears ; 
The native mariners, and civic troops. 
Feel with their friends ; for who is he amongst them 
Whose brethren, parents, children, wives, or sisters. 
Have not partook oppression, or pollution. 
From the patricians .'* And the hopeless war 
Against the Genoese, which is still maintain'*d 
With the plebeian blood, and treasure wrung 
From their hard earnings, has inflamed them further : 
Even now — ^but, I forget that speaking thus, 
Perhaps I pass the sentence of my death I 


And suffering what thou hast done — fear'st thou death .'' 
Be silent then, and live on, to be beaten 
By those for whom thou hast bled. 


No, I will speak 
At every hazard ; and if Venice"' Doge 
Should turn delator, be the shame on him, 
And sorrow too ; for he will lose far more 
Than I. 


From me fear nothing ; out with it ! 

so MARINO FALIERO, act i. 


Know then, that there are met and sworn in secret 

A band of brethren, vahant hearts and true ; 

Men who have proved all fortunes, and have long 

Grieved over that of Venice, and have right 

To do so ; having served her in all climes, 

And having rescued her from foreign foes, 

Would do the same from those within her walls. 

They are not numerous, nor yet too few 

For their great purpose ; they have arms, and means, 

And hearts, and hopes, and faith, and patient courage. 


For what then do Uiey pause ? 


An hour to strike. 
DOGE (aside.) 
Saint Mark''s shall strike that hour ! 


I now have placed 
My life, my honour, all my earthly hopes 
Within thy power, but in the firm belief 
That injuries like ours, sprung from one cause. 
Will generate one vengeance : should it be so. 
Be our chief now — our sovereign hereafter. 


How many are ye ? 


I '11 not answer that 
Till I am answerM. 


How, Sir ! do vou menace ? 



No; I affirm. I have betray'd myself; 

But there 's no torture in the mystic wells 

Which undermine your palace, nor in those 

Not less appalling cells, the " leaden roofs," 

To force a single name from me of others. 

The Pozzi and the Piombi were in vain ; 

They might wring blood from me, but treachery never. 

And I would pass the fearful " Bridge of Sighs," 

Joyous that mine must be the last that e'er 

Would echo o'er the Stygian wave which flows 

Between the murderers and the murdered, washing 

The prison and the palace walls : there are 

Thpse who would live to think on't, and avenge me. 


If such your power and purpose, why come here 
To sue for justice, being in the course 
To do yourself due right ? 


Because the man, 
Who claims protection from authority. 
Showing his confidence and his submission 
To that authority, can hardly be 
Suspected of combining to destroy it. 
Had I sate down too humbly with this blow, 
A moody brow and mutter'd threats had made me 
A mark"'d man to the Forty's inquisition ; 
But loud complaint, however angrily 
It shapes its phrase, is little to be fear'd, 
And less distrusted. But, besides all this, 
I had another reason. 

32 MARINO FALIERO^ act i. 


What was that ? 


Some rumours that the Doge was greatly moved 

By the reference of the Avogadori 

Of Michel Steno''s sentence to the Forty 

Had reached me. I had served you, honour**d you, 

And felt that you were dangerously insulted, 

Being of an order of such spirits, as 

Requite tenfold both good and evil : "^twas 

My wish to prove and urge you to redress. 

Now you know all ; and that I speak the truth, 

My peril be the proof. 


You have deeply ventured ; 
But all must do so who would greatly win : 
Thus far I ""ll answer you — ^your secret 's safe. 


And is this all ? 


Unless with all entrusted. 
What would you have me answer ? 


I would have you 
Trust him who leaves his life in trust with you. 


But I must know your plan, your names, and numbers ; 
The last may then be doubled, and the former 
Matured and strengthened. 



We're enough already ; 
You are the sole ally we covet now. 


But bring me to the knowledge of your chiefs. 


That shall be done upon your formal pledge 
To keep the faith that we will pledge to you. 


When.? where.? 


This night 111 bring to your apartment 
Two of the principals ; a greater number 
Were hazardous. 


Stay, I must think of this. 
What if I were to trust myself amongst you. 
And leave the palace ? 


You must come alone. 


With but my nephew. 


Not were he your son. 


Wretch ! darest thou name my son ? He died in arms 

At Sapienza for this faithless state. 

Oh ! that he were alive, and I in ashes ! 

Or that he were alive ere I be ashes ! ■ 

I should not need the dubious aid of strangers. 




Not one of all those strangers whom thou doubtest, 

But will regard thee with a fihal feeling, 

So that thou keep*'st a father's faith with them. 


The die is cast. Where is the place of meeting ? 


At midnight I will be alone and mask'd 
Where'er your highness pleases to direct me, 
To wait your coming, and conduct you where 
You shall receive our homage, and pronounce 
Upon our project. 


At what hour arises 
The moon ? 


Late, but the atmosphere is thick and dusky ; 
'Tis a sirocco. 


At the midnight hour, then. 
Near to the church where sleep my sires ; the same, 
Twin-named from the apostles John and Paul ; 
A gondola, (2) with one oar only, will 
Lurk in the narrow channel which gUdes by. 
Be there. 


I will not fail. 


And now retire 


In the full hope your highness will not falter 


In your great purpose. Prince, I take my leave. 

[Ea:it Israel Beetdccig. 
DOGE (solus.) 
At midnight, by the church Saints John and Paul, 
Where sleep my noble fathers, I repair — 
To what ? to hold a coimcil in the dark 
With common ruffians leagued to ruin states ! 
And will not my great sires leap from the vault. 
Where lie two doges who preceded me. 
And pluck me down amongst them ? Would they could ! 
For I should rest in honour with the honoured. 
Alas ! I must not think of them, but those 
Who have made me thus unworthy of a name, 
Noble and brave as aught of consular 
On Roman marbles ; but I will redeem it 
Back to its antique lustre in our annals. 
By sweet revenge on all that 's base in Venice, 
And freedom to the rest, or leave it black 
To all the growing calumnies of time, 
Which never spare the fame of him who fails. 
But try the Caesar, or the Catiline, 
By the true touchstone of desert — success. 



36 MARINO FALIERO, act ii. 


An Apartment in the Dttcal Palace. 
Angiolina (wi/e of the Doge) and Maeianna. 


What was the Doge's answer ? 


That he was 
That moment summoned to a conference ; 
But 'tis by this time ended. I perceived 
Not long ago the senators embarking ; 
And the last gondola may now be seen 
Ghding into the throng of barks which stud 
The glittering waters, 


Would he were return'd ! 
He has been much disquieted of late ; 
And Time, which has not tamed his fiery spirit, 
Nor yet enfeebled even his mortal frame, 
Which seems to be more nourish'd by a soul 
So quick and restless that it would consume 
Less hardy clay — Time has but little power 
On his resentments or his griefs. Unlike 
To other spirits of his order, who. 
In the first burst of passion, pour away 
Their wrath or sorrow, all things wear in him 
An aspect of eternity : his thoughts, 
His feelings, passions, good or evil, all 


Have nothing of old age ; and his bold brow 
Bears but the scars of mind, the thoughts of years, 
Not their decrepitude : and he of late 
Has been more agitated than his wont. 
Would he were come ! for I alone have power 
Upon his troubled spirit. 


It is true, 
His highness has of late been greatly moved 
By the affront of Steno, and with cause ; 
But the offender doubtless even now 
Is doom'd to expiate his rash insult with 
Such chastisement as will enforce respect 
To female virtue, and to noble blood. 


'Twas a gross insult ; but I heed it not 
For the rash scomer''s falsehood in itself. 
But for the effect, the deadly deep impression 
Which it has made upon Faliero's soul, 
The proud, the fiery, the austere — ^austere 
To all save me : I tremble when I think 
To what it may conduct. 


The Doge can not suspect you ? 


Suspect me ! 
Why Steno dared not : when he scrawPd his He, 
Groveling by stealth in the moon''s glimmering light, 
His own still conscience smote him for the act. 

38 MARINO FALIERO, act ii. 

And every shadow on the walls frown'd shame 
Upon his coward calumny. 


'T were fit 
He should be punish'd grievously. 


He is SO. 


What ! is the sentence past ? is he condemned ? 


I know not that, but he has been detected. 


And deem you this enough for such foul scorn ? 


I would not be a judge in my own cause, 
Nor do I know what s^nse of punishment 
May reach the soul of ribalds such as Steno ; 
But if his insults sink no deeper in 
The minds of the inquisitors than they 
Have ruffled mine, he will, for all acquittance. 
Be left to his own shamelessness or shame. 


Some sacrifice is due to slander'd virtue. 


Why, what is virtue if it needs a victim ? 
Or if it must depend upon men's words ? 
The dying Roman said, " 'twas but a name :" 
It were indeed no more, if human breath 
Could make or mar it. 


Yet full many a dame. 


Stainless and faithful, would feel all the wrong 
Of such a slander ; and less rigid ladies, 
Such as abound in Venice, would be loud 
And all-inexorable in their cry 
For justice. 


This but proves it is the name 
And not the quality they prize : the first 
Have found it a hard task to hold their honour. 
If they require it to be blazon'd forth ; 
And those who have not kept it, seek i4;s seeming 
As they would look out for an ornament 
Of which they feel the want, but not because 
They think it so ; they hve in others' thoughts, 
And would seem honest as they must seem fair. 


You have strange thoughts for a patrician dame. 


And yet they were my father's ; with his name. 
The sole inheritance he left 


You want none ; 
Wife to a prince, the chief of the Republic. 


I should have sought none though a peasant's bride, 
But feel not less the love and gratitude 
Due to my father, who bestow'd my hand 
Upon his early, tried, and trusted friend, 
The Count Val di Marino, now our Doge. 


And with that hand did he bestow your heart ? 

40 MARINO FALIERO, act ii. 


He did so, or it had not been bestowed. 


Yet this strange disproportion in your years. 
And, let me add, disparity of tempers. 
Might make the world doubt whether such an union 
Could make you wisely, permanently, happy. 


The world will think with worldlings ; but my heart 
Has still been in my duties, which are many. 
But never difficult. 


And do you love him ? 


I love all noble qualities which merit 

Love, and I loved my father, who first taught me 

To single out what we should love in others, 

And to subdue all tendency to lend 

The best and purest feehngs of our nature 

To baser passions. He bestow''d my hand 

Upon Fahero : he had known him noble. 

Brave, generous, rich in all the quahties 

Of soldier, citizen, and friend ; in all 

Such have I found him as my father said. 

His faults are those that dwell in the high bosoms 

Of men who have commanded ; too much pride. 

And the deep passions fiercely foster'd by 

The uses of patricians, and a life 

Spent in the storms of state and war ; and also 

From the quick sense of honour, which becomes 

A duty to a certain sign, a vice 

sc. I. DOGE OF VENICE. 41 

When overstrained, and this I fear in him. 

And then he has been rash from his youth upwards, 

Yet tempered by redeeming nobleness 

In such sort, that the wariest of repubhcs 

Has lavished all its chief employs upon him, 

From his first fight to his last embassy, 

From which on his return the dukedom met him. 


But previous to this marriage, had your heart 
Ne'er beat for any of the noble youth. 
Such as in years had been more meet to match 
Beauty Uke yours ? or since have you ne'er seen 
One, who, if your fair hand were stUl to give. 
Might now pretend to Loredano's daughter ? 


I answer'd your first question when I said 
I married. 


And the second ? 


Needs no answer. 


I pray you pardon, if I have offended. 


I feel no wrath, but some surprise : I knew not 
That wedded bosoms could permit themselves 
To ponder upon what they now might choose. 
Or aught save their past choice. 


'Tis their past choice 

42 MARINO FALIERO, act ii. 

That far too often makes them deem they would 
Now choose more wisely, could they cancel it. 


It may be so. I knew not of such thoughts. 


Here comes the Doge — shall I retire ? 


It may 
Be better you should quit me ; he seems rapt 
In thought. — How pensively he takes his way ! 

[Exit Maeianna. 

Enter tlie Doge, and Pieteo. 

DOGE (miLsing.) 
There is a certain Philip Calendaro 
Now in the Arsenal, who holds command 
Of eighty men, and has great influence 
Besides on all the spirits of his comrades ; 
This man, I hear, is bold and popular. 
Sudden and daring, and yet secret; 'twould 
Be well that he were won : I needs must hope 
That Israel Bertuccio has secured him, 
But fain would be 


My lord, pray pardon me 
For breaking in upon your meditation ; 
The Senator Bertuccio, your kinsman. 
Charged me to follow and inquire your pleasure 
To fix an hour when he may speak with you. 

sc. I. DOGE OF VENICE. 48 


At sunset. — Stay a moment — ^let me see — 

Say in the second hour of night. [Exit Pietro. 


My lord ! 


My dearest child, forgive me — why delay 
So long approaching me ? — I saw you not. 


You were absorbed in thought, and he who now 
Has parted from you might have words of weight 
To bear you from the senate. 


From the senate ? 


I would not interrupt him in his duty 
And theirs. 


The senate'^s duty ! you mistake ; 
'Tis we who owe all service to the senate. 


I thought the Duke had held command in Venice. 


He shall. — But let that pass. — We will be jocund. 
How fares it with you ? have you been abroad ? 
The day is overcast, but the calm wave 
Favours the gondolier"'s light skimming oar ; 
Or have you held a levee of your friends ? 
Or has your music made you solitary ? 
Say — is there aught that you would will within 
The litde sway now left the Duke ? or auglit 

^ lyiARINO FALIERO, act n. 

Of fitting splendour, or of honest pleasure, 
Social or lonely, that would glad your heart, 
To compensate for many a dull hour, wasted 
On an old man oft moved with many cares ? 
Speak, and 'tis done. 


You're ever kind to me — 
I have nothing to desire, or to request. 
Except to see you oftener and calmer. 




Ay, calmer, my good lord. — Ah, why 
Do you still keep apart, and walk alone. 
And let such strong emotions stamp your brow. 
As not betraying their full import, yet 
Disclose too much ? 


Disclose too much ! — of what ? 
What is there to disclose ? 


A heart so ill 
At ease. 


'Tis nothmg, child. — But in the state 
You know what daily cares oppress all those 
Who govern this precarious commonwealth ; 
Now suffering from the Genoese without. 
And malcontents within — ^'tis this which makes me 
More pensive and less tranquil than my wont. 

sc. I. DOGE OF VENICE. 45 


Yet this existed long before, and never 
Till in these late days did I see you thus. 
Forgive me ; there is something at your heart 
More than the mere discharge of public duties. 
Which long use and a talent Hke to yours 
Have rendered light, nay, a necessity, 
To keep your mind from stagnating. 'Tis not 
In hostile states, nor perils, thus to shake you ; 
You, who have stood all storms and never sunk. 
And climVd up to the pinnacle of power 
And never fainted by the way, and stand 
Upon it, and can look down steadily 
Along the depth beneath, and ne'er feel dizzy. 
Were Genoa's galleys riding in the port, 
Were civil fury raging in Saint Mark's, 
You are not to be wrought on, but would fall. 
As you have risen, with an unalter'd brow — 
Your feelings now are of a different kind ; 
Something has stung your pride, not patriotism. 


Pride ! Angiolina ? Alas ! none is left me. 


Yes — the same sin that overthrew the angels. 
And of all sins most easily besets 
Mortals the nearest to the angelic nature : 
The vile are only vain ; the great are proud. 


I had the pride of honour, of your honour. 

Deep at my heart But let us change the theme. 

46 MARINO FALIERO, act ii. 


Ah no ! — As I have ever shared your kindness 
In all things else, let me not be shut out 
From your distress : were it of public import, 
You know I never sought, would never seek 
To win a word from you ; but feeling now 
Your grief is private, it belongs .to me 
To lighten or divide it. Since the day 
When foolish Steno's ribaldry detected 
Unfix''d your quiet, you are greatly changed, 
And I would soothe you back to what you were. 


To what I was ! — Have you heard Steno^s sentence ? 




A month's arrest. 


Is it not enough ? 


Enough ! — ^Yes, for a drunken galley slave. 
Who, stung by stripes, may murmur at his master ; 
But not for a dehberate, false, cool villain. 
Who stains a lady''s and a prince'^s honour 
Even on the throne of his authority. 


There seems to me enough in the conviction 
Of a patrician guilty of a falsehood : 
All other punishment were light unto 
His loss of honour. 

sc. I. DOGE OF VENICE. 4t^ 


Such men have no honour ; 
They have but their vile lives — and these are spared. 


You would not have him die for this offence ? 


Not now: — ^being still alive, I'd have him live 
Long as Ite can ; he has ceased to merit death ; 
The guilty saved hath damn''d his hundred judges, 
And he is pure, for now his crime is theirs. 


Oh ! had this false and flippant hbeller 
Shed his young blood for his absurd lampoon, 
Ne'er from that moment could this breast have known 
A joyous hour, or dreamless slumber more. 


Does not the law of Heaven say blood for blood ? 

And he who taints kills more than he who sheds it. 

Is it the pain of blows, or slmme of blows, 

That make such deadly to the sense of man ? 

Do not the laws of man say blood for honour ? 

And less than honour for a little gold ? 

Say not the laws of nations blood for treason ? 

Is 't nothing to have filPd these veins with poison 

For their once healthful current ? is it nothing 

To have stain'd your name and mine ? the noblest names ? 

Is 't nothing to have brought into contempt 

A prince before his people ? to have faiPd 

In the respect accorded by mankind 

To youth in woman, and old age in man ? 

48 MARINO FALIERO, act ii. 

To virtue in your sex, and dignity 

In ours ? — But let them look to it who have saved him. 


Heaven bids us to forgive our enemies. 


Doth Heaven forgive her own ? Is Satan saved 
From wrath eternal ? 


Do not speak thus wildly — 
Heaven will alike forgive you and your foes. 


Amen ! May Heaven forgive them. 


And will you ? 


Yes, when they are in Heaven ! 


And not till then ? 


What matters my forgiveness ? an old man's, 

Worn out, scom'd, spumed, abused ; what matters then 

My pardon more than my resentment ? both 

Being weak and worthless ? I have lived too long. — 

But let us change the argument. — My child ! 

My injured wife, the child of Loredano, 

The brave, the chivalrous, how little deem'd 

Thy father, wedding thee unto his friend, , 

That he was Unking thee to shame ! — Alas ! 

Shame without sin, for thou art faultless. Hadst thou 

But had a different husband, any husband 

sc. I. DOGE OF VENICE. 49 

In Venice save the Doge, this blight, this brand, 
This blasphemy had never fallen upon thee. 
So young, so beautiful, so good, so pure, 
To suffer this, and yet be unavenged ! 


I am too well avenged, for you still love me, 
And trust, and honour me ; and all men know 
That you are just, and I am true : what more 
Could I require, or you command ^ 


'Tis well. 
And may be better ; but whatever betide, 
Be thou at least kind to my memory. 


Why speak you thus ? 


It is no matter why ; 
But I would still, whatever others think, 
Have your respect both now and in my grave. 


Why should you doubt it ? has it ever failed ? 


Come hither, child ; I would a word with you. 
Your father was my friend ; unequal fortune 
Made him my debtor for some courtesies 
Which bind the good more firmly : when, opprest 
With his last malady, he wilPd our union, 
It was not to repay me, long repaid 
Before by his great loyalty in friendship ; 
His object was to place your orphan beauty 

50 MARINO FALIERO, act ii. 

In honourable safety from the perils, 

Which, in this scorpion nest of vice, assail 

A lonely and undowered maid. I did not 

Think with him, but would not oppose the thought 

Which soothed his death-bed. 


I have not forgotten 
The nobleness with which you bade me speak 
If my young heart held any preference 
Which would have made me happier ; nor your offer 
To make my dowry equal to the rank 
Of aught in Venice, and forego all claim 
My father's last injunction gave you. 


'Twas not a foolish dotard's vile caprice. 
Nor the false edge of aged appetite. 
Which made me covetous of girlish beauty. 
And a young bride : for in my fieriest youth 
I sway'd such passions ; nor was this my age 
Infected with that leprosy of lust 
Which taints the hoariest years of vicious men, 
Making them ransack to the very last 
The dregs of pleasure for their vanished joys ; 
Or buy in selfish marriage some yovmg victim. 
Too helpless to refuse a state that 's honest. 
Too feeling not to know herself a wretch. 
Our wedlock was not of this sort ; you had 
Freedom from me to choose, and urged in answer 
Your father's choice. 


sc 1. DOGE OF VENICE. 51 


I did SO ; I would do so 
In face of earth and heaven ; for I have never * 
Repented for my sake ; sometimes for yours, 
In pondering o'*er your late disquietudes. 


I knew my heart would never treat you harshly ; 

I knew my days could not disturb you long ; 

And then the daughter of my earliest friend, 

His worthy daughter, free to choose again, 

Wealthier and wiser, in the ripest bloom 

Of womanhood, more skilful to select 

By passing these probationary years ; 

Inheriting a prince's name and riches, 

Secured, by the short penance of enduring 

An old man for some summers, against all 

That law's chicane or envious kinsmen might 

Have urged against her right ; my best friend's child 

Would choose more fitly in respect of years. 

And not less truly in a faithful heart. 


My lord, I look'd but to my father's wishes, 

Hallow'd by his last words, and to my heart 

For doing all its duties, and replying 

With faith to him with whom I was affianced. 

Ambitious hopes ne'er cross'd my dreams ; and should 

The hour you speak of come, it will be seen so. 


I do beUeve you ; and I know you true : 
For love, romantic love, which in my youth 

E 2 

52 MARINO FALIERO, act ii. 

I knew to be illusion, and ne'er saw 

Lasting, but often fatal, it had been 

No lure for me, in my most passionate days, 

And could not be so now, did such exist. 

But such respect, and mildly paid regard 

As a true feeling for your welfare, and 

A free compliance with all honest wishes ; 

A kindness to your virtues, watchfulness 

Not shown, but shadowing o'er such little failings 

As youth is apt in, so as not to check 

Rashly, but win you from them ere you knew 

You had been won, but thought the change your choice ; 

A pride not in your beauty, but your conduct, — 

A trust in you — a patriarchal love, 

And not a doting homage — friendship, faith — 

Such estimation in your eyes as these 

Might clfdm, I hoped for. 


And have ever had. 


I think SO. For the difference in our years 

You knew it, choosing me, and chose: I trusted 

Not to my qualities, nor would have faith 

In such, nor outward ornaments of nature. 

Were I still in my five and twentieth spring ; 

I trusted to the blood of Loredano 

Pure in your veins ; I trusted to the soul 

God gave you — to the truths your father taught you — 

To your belief in heaven — to your mild virtues — 

To your own faith and honour, for my own. 

sc. I. DOGE OF VENICE. 58 


You have done well. — I thank you for that trust, 
Which I have never for one moment ceased 
To honour you the more for. 


Where is honour, 
Innate and precept-strengthen'd, 'tis the rock 
Of faith connubial ; where it is not — where 
Light thoughts are lurking, or the vanities 
Of worldly pleasure rankle in the heart. 
Or sensual throbs convulse it, well I know 
'Twere hopeless for humanity to dream 
Of honesty in such infected blood. 
Although 'twere wed to him it covets most : 
An incarnation of the poet's god 
In all his marble-chisell'd beauty, or 
The demi-deity, Alcides, in * 

His majesty of superhuman manhood. 
Would not suffice to bind where virtue is not ; 
It is consistency which forms and proves it : 
Vice cannot fix, and virtue cannot change. 
The once fall'n woman must for ever fall ; 
For vice must have variety, while virtue 
Stands Hke the sun, and all which rolls around 
Drinks life, and light, and glory from her aspect. 


And seeing, feeling thus this truth in others, 
(I pray you pardon me ;) but wherefore yield you 
To the most fierce of fatal passions, and 
Disquiet your great thoughts with restless hate 
Of such a thing as Steno ? 

54 MARINO FALIERO, act ii. 


You mistake me. 
It is not Steno who could move me thus ; 
Had it been so, he should ^but let that pass. 


What is't you feel so deeply, then, even now ? 


The violated majesty of Venice, 

At once insulted in her lord and laws. 


Alas ! why will you thus consider it ? 


I have thought on 't till ^but let me lead you back 

To what I urged ; all these things being noted, 
I wedded you ; the world then did me justice 
Upon the motive, and my conduct proved 
They did me right, while yours was all to praise : 
You had all freedom — all respect — all trust 
From me and mine ; and, bom of those who made 
Princes at home, and swept kings from their thrones 
On foreign shores, in all things you appear''d 
Worthy to be our first of native dames. 


To what does this conduct ? 


To thus much — that 
A miscreant'*s angry breath may blast it all — . 
A villain, whom for his unbridled bearing. 
Even in the midst of our great festival, 
I caused to be conducted forth, and taught 
How to demean himself in ducal chambers ; 

sc. I. DOGE OF VENICE. 55 

A wretch like this may leave upon the wall 
The blighting venom of his sweltering heart, 
And this shall spread itself in general poison ; 
And woman''s innocence, man''s honour, pass 
Into a by-word ; and the doubly felon 
(Who first insulted virgin modesty 
By a gross aflfront to your attendant damsels 
Amidst the noblest of our dames in public) 
Requite himself for his most just expulsion 
By blackening pubhcly his sovereign's consort, 
And be absolved by his upright compeers. 


But he has been condemn''d into captivity. 


For such as him a dungeon were acquittal ; 
And his brief term of mock-arrest will pass 
Within a palace. But I Ve done with him ; 
The rest must be with you. 


With me, my lord.** 


Yes, An^olina. Do not marvel ; I 

Have let this prey upon me till I feel 

My life cannot be long ; and fain would have you 

Regard the injunctions you will find within 

This scroll (Giving her a paper) Fear not ; they are 

for your advantage : 
Read them hereafter at the fitting hour. 


My lord, in life, and after life, you shall 

56 MARINO FALIERO, act ii. 

Be honour'*d still by me : but may your days 
Be many yet — and happier than the present ! 
This passion will give way, and you will be 
Serene, and what you should be — what you were. 


I will be what I should be, or be nothing ; 

But never more — oh ! never, never more, 

O'er the few days or hours which yet await 

The blighted old age of Faliero, shall 

Sweet Quiet shed her sunset ! Never more 

Those summer shadows rising from the past 

Of a not ill-spent nor inglorious life. 

Mellowing the last hours as the night approaches, 

Shall soothe me to my moment of long rest. 

I had but little more to ask, or hope. 

Save the regards due to the blood and sweat. 

And the soul'^s labour through which I had toil''d 

To make my country honoured. As her servant — 

Her servant, though her chief — I would have gone 

Down to my fathers \\ith a name serene 

And pure as theirs ; but this has been denied me. — 

Would I had died at Zara ! 


There you saved 
The state ; then live to save her still. A day. 
Another day like that would be the best 
Reproof to them, and sole revenge for you. 


But one such day occurs mthin an age ; 
My life is little less than one, and 'tis 


Enough for Fortune to have granted once, 
That which scarce one more favoured citizen 
May win in many states and years. But why 
Thus speak I ? Venice has forgot that day — 
Then why should I remember it ? — Farewell, 
Sweet Angiolina ! I must to my cabinet ; 
There's much for me to do — and the hour hastens. 


Remember what you were. 


It were in vain ! 
Joy's recollection is no longer joy, 
While Sorrow's memory is a sorrow still. 


At least, whate'er may urge, let me implore 

That you will take some httle pause of rest : 

Your sleep for many nights has been so turbid, 

That it had been reUef to have awaked you. 

Had I not hoped that Nature would o'erpower 

At length the thoughts which shook your slumbers thus. 

An hour of rest will give you to your toils 

With fitter thoughts and freshen'd strength. 


I cannot — 
I must not, if I could ; for never was 
Such reason to be watchful : yet a few — 
Yet a few days and dream-perturbed nights, 
And I shall slumber well — ^but where ? — ^no matter. 
Adieu, my Angiolina. 


Let me be 

58 MARINO FALIERO, act ii. 

An instant — ^yet an instant your companion ; 
I cannot bear to leave you thus. 


Come then, 
My gentle child — ^forgive me ; thou wert made 
For better fortunes than to share in mine, 
Now darkling in their close toward the deep vale 
Where Death sits robed in his all-sweeping shadow. 
When I am gone — it may be sooner than 
Even these years warrant, for there is that stirring 
Within — ^above — around, that in this city 
Will make the cemeteries populous 
As e''er they were by pestilence or war, — 
When I am nothing, let that which I was 
Be still sometimes a name on thy sweet lips, 
A shadow in thy fancy, of a thing 
Which would not have thee mourn it, but remember ;^- 
Let us begone, my child — the time is pressing. 



A retired Spot near the Arsenal. 
Israel Beetuccio and Philip Calendaro. 


How sped you, Israel, in your late complaint ? 



Why, well. 


Is ''t possible I will he be punish'd ? 




With what ? a mulct or an arrest ? 


With death !— ••* 


Now you rave, or must intend revenge, 

Such as I counsell''d you, with your own hand. 


Yes ; and for one sole draught of hate, forego 

The great redress we meditate for Venice, 

And change a Hfe of hope for one of exile ; 

Leaving one scorpion crushed, and thousands stinging 

My friends, my family, my countrymen ! 

No, Calendaro ; these same drops of blood, 

Shed shamefully, shall have the whole of liis 

For their requital But not only his ; 

We will not strike for private wrongs alone : 
Such are for selfish passions and rash men. 
But are unworthy a tyrannicide. 


You have more patience than I care to boast. 
Had I been present when you bore this insult, 
I must have slain him, or expired myself 
In the vmn effort to repress my wrath. 


6d MARINO FALIERO, act ii- 


Thank Heaven, you were not — all had else been marr''d : 
As 'tis, our cause looks prosperous still. 


You saw 
The Doge — what answer gave he ? 


That there was 
No punishment for such as Barbaro. 


I told you so before, and that 'twas idle 
To think of justice from such hands. 


At least. 
It lull'd suspicion, showing confidence. 
Had I been silent, not a Sbirro but 
Had kept me in his eye, as meditating 
A silent, sohtary, deep revenge. 


But wherefore not address you to the Council ? 
The Doge is a mere puppet, who can scarce 
Obtain right for himself. Why speak to him ? 


You shall know that hereafter. 


Why not now ? 


Be patient but till midnight. Get your musters. 
And bid our friends prepare their companies : — 


Set all in readiness to strike the blow. 
Perhaps in a few hours ; we have long waited 
For a fit time — that hour is on the dial, 
It may be, of to-morrow's sun : delay 
Beyond may breed us double danger. See 
That all be punctual at our place of meeting, 
And armM, excepting those of the Sixteen, 
Who will remain among the troops to wait 
The signal. 


These brave words have breathed new life 
Into my veins ; I am sick of these protracted 
And hesitating councils : day on day 
CrawPd on, and added but another link 
To our long fetters, and some fresher wrong 
Inflicted on our brethren or ourselves. 
Helping to swell our tyrants' bloated strength. 
Let us but deal upon them, and I care not 
For the result, which must be death or freedom ! 
I'm weary to the heart of finding neither. 


We will be free in life or death ! the grave 
Is chainless. Have you all the musters ready ? 
And are the sixteen companies completed 
To sixty ? 


All save two, in which there are 
Twenty-five wanting to make up the number. 


No matter ; we can do without. Whose are they ? 



Bertram's and old Soranzo's, both of whom 
Appear less forward in the cause than we are. 


Your fiery nature makes you deem all those 
Who are not restless, cold : but there exists 
Oft in concentred spirits, not less daring 
Than in more loud avengers. Do not doubt them. 


I do not doubt the elder ; but in Bertram 

There is a hesitating softness, fatal 

To enterprise like ours : I Ve seen that man 

Weep like an infant o'er the misery 

Of others, heedless of his own, though greater ; 

And in a recent quarrel I beheld him 

Turn sick at sight of blood, although a villain's. 


The truly brave are soft of heart and eyes. 

And feel for what their duty bids them do. 

I have known Bertram long; there doth not breathe 

A soul more full of honour. 


It may be so : 
I apprehend less treachery than weakness ; 
Yet as he has no mistress, and no wife 
To work upon his milkiness of spirit, 
He may go through the ordeal ; it is well 
He is an orphan, friendless save in us : 
A woman or a child had made him less 
Than either in resolve. 



Such ties are not 
For those who are calPd to the high destinies 
Which purify corrupted commonwealths ; 
We must forget all feelings save the one — 
We must resign all passions save our purpose — 
We must behold no object save our country — 
And only look on death as beautiful, 
So that the sacrifice ascend to heaven,- 
And draw down freedom on her evermore. 


But if we fail. 


They never fail who die 
In a great cause : the block may soak their gore ; 
Their heads may sodden in the sun ; their limbs 
Be strung to city gates and castle walls — 
But still their spirit walks abroad. Though years 
Elapse, and others share as dark a doom. 
They but augment the deep and sweeping thoughts 
Which overpower all others, and conduct 
The world at last to freedom : What were we. 
If Brutus had not hved ? He died in giving 
Rome hberty, but left a deathless lesson — 
A name which is a virtue, and a soul 
Which multiplies itself throughout all time, 
When wicked men wax mighty, and a state 
Turns servile : he and his high friend were styled 
" The last of Romans r Let us be the first 
Of true Venetians, sprung from Roman sires. 

64 MARINO FALIERO, act ti, 


Our fathers did not fly from Attila 

Into these isles, where palaces have sprung 

On banks redeemed from the rude ocean's ooze> 

To own a thousand despots in his place. 

Better bow down before the Hun, and call 

A Tartar lord, than these swoln silkworms masters ! 

The first at least was man, and used his sword 

As sceptre : these unmanly creeping things 

Command our swords, and rule us with a word 

As with a spell. 


It shall be broken soon. 
You say that all things are in readiness ; 
To-day I have not been the usual round, 
And why thou knowest ; but thy vigilance 
Will better have suppUed my care : these orders 
In recent council to redouble now 
Our efforts to repair the galleys, have 
Lent a fair colour to the introduction 
Of many of our cause into the arsenal. 
As new artificers for their equipment. 
Or fresh recruits obtain"'d in haste to man 
The hoped-for fleet. — Are all suppUed with arms ? 


All who were deemed trustworthy : there are some 

Whom it were well to keep in ignorance 

Till it be time to strike, and then supply them ; 

When in the heat and hurry of the hour 

They have no opportunity to pause, 

But needs must on with those who will surround them. 



You have said well. — Have you remarked all such ? 


I 've noted most ; and caused the other chiefs 
To use like caution in their companies. 
As far as I have seen, we are enough 
To make the enterprise secure, if "'tis 
Commenced to-morrow ; but, till 'tis begun. 
Each hour is pregnant with a thousand perils. 


Let the Sixteen meet at the wonted hour, 
Except Soranzo, Nicoletto Blondo, 
And Marco Giuda, who will keep their watch 
Within the arsenal, and hold all ready, 
Expectant of the signal we will fix on. 


We will not fail. 


Let all the rest be there ; 
I have a stranger to present to them. 


A stranger ! doth he know the secret ? 




And have you dared to peril your friends' lives 
On a rash confidence in one we know not ? 


I have risked no man's Ufe except my own — 
Of that be certain : he is one who may 

66 MARINO FALIERO, act ii. 

Make our assurance doubly sure, according 
His aid ; and if reluctant, he no less 
Is in our power : he comes alone with me, 
And cannot 'scape us ; but he will not swerve. 


I cannot judge of this until I know him : 
Is he one of our order ? 


Ay, in spirit, 
Although a child of greatness ; he is one 
Who would become a throne, or overtlirow one — 
One who has done great deeds, and seen great changes ; 
No tyrant, though bred up to tyranny ; 
Valiant in war, and sage in council ; noble 
In nature, although haughty ; quick, yet wary : 
Yet for all this, so full of certain passions, 
That if once stirr'd and baffled, as he has been 
Upon the tenderest points, there is no Fury 
In Grecian story like to that which wrings 
His vitals with her burning hands, till he 
Grows capable of all things for revenge ; 
And add too, that his mind is liberal. 
He sees and feels the people are oppressed. 
And shares their sufferings. Take him all in all, 
We have need of such, and such have need of us. 


And what part would you have him take with us ? 


It may be, that of chief. 



What ! and resign , 

Your own command as leader ? 


Even so. 
My object is to make your cause end well, 
And not to push myself to power. Experience, 
Some skill, and your own choice, had mark'd me out 
To act in trust as your commander, till 
Some worthier should appear : if I have found such 
As you yourselves shall own more worthy, think you 
That I would hesitate from selfishness, 
And, covetous of brief authority, 
Stake our deep interest on my single thoughts. 
Rather than yield to one above me in 
All leading qualities ? No, Calendaro, 
Know your friend better ; but you all shall judge. — 
Away ! and let us meet at the fixM hour. 
Be vigilant, and all will yet go well. 


Worthy Bertuccio, I have known you ever 

Trusty and brave, with head and heai't to plan 

What I have still been prompt to execute. 

For my own part, I seek no other chief; 

What the rest will decide I know not, but 

I am with you, as I have ever been. 

In all our undertakings. Now farewell, 

Until the hour of midnight sees us meet. [Exeunt. 




Scene^ the Space between the Canal and the Church of 
San Giovanni e San Paolo. Aji equestrian Statue 
before it. — A Gondola lies in the Canal at some 

Enter the Doge ulwie., duguised. 

DOGE (sohi^.) 
I am before tlie hour, the hour whose voice, 
Peahn<^ into the arch of night, might strike 
These palaces with ominous tottering, 
And rock their marbles to the comer-stone. 
Waking the sleepers from some hideous dream 
Of indistinct but awful augury 
Of that which will befal them. Yes, proud city ! 
Thou must be cleansed of the black blood whicli makes 

A lazar-house of tyranny : the task 
Is forced upon me, I have sought it not ; 
And therefore was I punish'd, seeing this 
Patrician pestilence spread on and on. 
Until at length it smote me in my slumbers. 
And I am tainted, and must wash away ' 
The plague-spots in the healing wave. Tall fane ! 
Where sleep my fathers, whose dim statues shadow 
The floor Avhich doth divide us from the dead. 
Where all the pregnant hearts of our bold blood, 
Moulder"'d into a mite of ashes, hold 
In one shrunk heap what once made many heroes, 


When what is now a handful shook tlie earth — 

Fane of the tutelar saints who guard our house ! 

Vault where two Doges rest — my sires ! who died 

The one of toil, the other in the field, 

With a long race of other lineal chiefs 

And sages, whose great labours, wounds, and state 

I have inherite(^, — let the graves gape, 

Till all thine aisles be peopled with the dead. 

And pour them from thy portals to gaze on me ! 

I call them up, and them and thee to witness 

What it hath been which put me to this task — 

Their pure high blood, their blazon-roll of glories, 

Their mighty name dishonour^ all in me, 

Not 1)1/ me, but by the ungrateful nobles 

We fought to make our equals, not our lords : — 

And chiefly thou, Ordelafo the brave. 

Who perished in the field, where I since conquered, 

Battling at Zara, did the hecatombs 

Of thine and Venice' foes, there offered up 

By thy descendant, merit such acquittance ? 

Spirits ! smile down upon me ; for my cause 

Is yours, in all life now can be of yours, — 

Your fame, your name, all mingled up in mine, 

And in the future fortunes of our race ! 

Let me but prosper, and I make this city 

Free and immortal, and our house's name 

AVorthier of what you were, now and hereafter ! 

Enter Israel Bertuccio. 


Who goes there f 



A friend to Venice. 


'Tis he. 
Welcome, my lord, — ^you are before the time. 


I am ready to proceed to your assembly. 


Have with you. — I am proud and pleased to see -^ 

Such confident alacrity. Your doubts 
Since our last meeting, then, are all dispelPd ? 


Not so — ^but I have set my little left 
Of life upon this cast : the die was thrown 
When I first listened to your treason — Start not ! 
TJiat is the word ; I cannot shape my tongue 
To syllable black deeds into smooth names. 
Though I be wrought on to commit them. When 
I heard you tempt your sovereign, and forbore 
To have you dragged to prison, I became 
Your guiltiest accomplice : now you may. 
If it so please you, do as much by me. 


Strange words, my lord, and most unmerited ; 
I am no spy, and neither are we traitors. 


We — We! — ^no matter — ^you have earn''d the right. 
To talk of us. — But to the point. — If this 
Attempt succeeds, and Venice, renderM free 
And flourishing, when we are in our graves. 


Conducts her generations to our tombs, 

And makes her children with their little hands 

Strew flowers o'er her deliverers'* ashes, then 

The consequence Avill sanctify the deed, 

And we shall be Uke the two Bruti in 

The annals of hereafter ; but if not, 

If we should fail, employing bloody means 

And secret plot, although to a good end, 

Still we are traitors, honest Israel ; — thou 

No less than he who was thy sovereign 

Six hours ago, and now thy brother rebel. 


'Tis not the moment to consider thus, 

Else I could answer. — Let us to the meeting. 

Or we may be observed in lingering here. 


We a/re observed, and have been. 


We observed ! 
Let me discover — and this steel 


Put up ; 
Here are no human witnesses : look there — 
What see you .? 


Only a tall warrior's statue 
Bestriding a proud steed, in the dim light 
Of the dull moon. 


That warrior was the siie 

72 MARINO FALIERO, act hi. 

Of my sire''s fathers, and that statue was 
Decreed to him by the twice rescued city : — 
Think you that he looks down on us, or no ? 


My lord, these are mere phantasies ; there are 
No eyes in marble. 


But there are in Death. 
I tell thee, man, there is a spirit in ) 

Such things that acts and sees, unseen, though felt ; 
And, if there be a spell to stir the dead, 
""Tis in such deeds as we are now upon. 
Deem'st thou the souls of such a race as mine 
Can rest, when he, their last descendant chief, 
Stands plotting on the brink of their pure graves 
With stung plebeians ? 


It had been as well 
To have ponder'd this before, — ere you embark'^d 
In our great enterprize. — Do you repent ? 


No — ^liut IJeel, and shall do to the last. 

I cannot quench a glorious life at once. 

Nor dwindle to the thing I now must be. 

And take men's lives by stealth, without some pause : 

Yet doubt me not ; it is this very feeling. 

And knowing wluit has wi'ung me to be thus, 

Which is your best security. There 's not 

A roused mechanic in your busy plot 

So wrong'd as I, so fallen, so loudly ciill\] 


To his redress : the very means I am forced 
By these fell tyrants to adopt is such, 
That I abhor them doubly for the deeds 
Which I must do to pay them back for theirs 


Let us away — hark — tJie hour strikes. 


On— On— - 
It is our knell, or that of Venice. — On. 


Say rather, 'tis her freedom's rising peal 

Of triumph This way — we are near the place. 



Tlie House where the Conspirators meet. 

Dagolino, Doeo, Bertram, Fedele Trevisano, 
Calendaro, Antonio delle Bende, &c. &c. 

calendaro (entering".) 
Are all here ? 


All with you ; except the three 
On duty, and our leader Israel, 
Who is expected momently. 


Where's Bertram ? 


Here ! 



Have yoii not been able to complete 
The number wanting in your company ? 


I had mark'd out some : but I have not dared 
To trust them with the secret, till assured 
That they were worthy faith. 


There is no need 
Of trusting to their faith : who, save ourselves 
And our more chosen comrades, is aware 
Fully of our intent ? they think themselves (3) 
Engaged in secret to the Signory, 
To punish some more dissolute young nobles 
Who have defied the law in their excesses ; 
But once drawn up, and their new swords weU-flesh'd 
In the rank hearts of the more odious senators. 
They will not hesitate to follow up 
Their blow upon the others, when they see 
The example of their chiefs, and I for one 
Will set them such, that they for very shame 
And safety will not pause till all have perish'd. 


How say you .? all ! 


Whom wouldst thou spare ? 


/ »pare f 
I have no power to spare. I only question^. 
Thinking that even amongst these wicked men 

sc. ir. DOGE OF VENICE. 75 

There might be some, whose age and qualities 
Might mark them out for pity. 


Yes, such pity 
As when the viper hath been cut to pieces, 
The separate fragments quivering in the sun 
In the last energy of venomous life, 
Deserve and have. Why, I should think as soon 
Of pitying some particular fang which made 
One in the jaw of the swoln serpent, as 
Of saving one of these : they form but links 
Of one long chain ; one mass, one breath, one body ; 
They eat, and drink, and live, and breed together, 
Revel, and lie, oppress, and kill in concert, — 
So let them die as one ! 


Should one survive, 
He would be dangerous as the whole ; it is not 
Their number, be it tens or thousands, but 
The spirit of this aristocracy 
Which must be rooted out ; and if there were 
A single shoot of the old tree in life, 
'T would fasten in the soil, and spring again 
To gloomy verdure and to bitter fruit. 
Bertram, we must be firm ! 


Look to it well, 
Bertram ; I have an eye upon thee. 


Distrusts me ^ 



Not I ; for if I did so, 
Thou wouldst not now be there to talk of trust : 
It is thy softness, not thy want of faith. 
Which makes thee to be doubted. 


You should know 
Who hear me, who and what I am ; a man 
Roused like yourselves to overthrow oppression ; 
A kind man, I am apt to think, as some 
Of you have found me ; and if brave or no. 
You, Calendaro, can pronounce, who have seen me 
Put to the proof; or, if you should have doubts, 
I'll clear them on your person ! 


You are welcome. 
When once our enterprise is o'er, which must not 
Be interrupted by a private brawl. 


I am no brawler ; but can bear myself 

As far among the foe as any he 

Who hears me ; else why have I been selected 

To be of your chief comrades ? but no less 

I own my natural weakness ; I have not 

Yet leam'd to think of indiscriminate murder 

Without some sense of shuddering ; and the sight 

Of blood which spouts through hoary scalps is not 

To me a thing of triumph, nor the death 

Of men surprised a glory. Well — too well 

I know that we must do such things on those 


Whose acts have raised up such avengers ; but 
If there were some of these who could be saved 
From out this sweeping fate, for our own sakes 
And for our honour, to take off some stain 
Of massacre, which else pollutes it wholly, 
I had been glad ; and see no cause in this 
For sneer, nor for suspicion ! 


Calm thee, Bertram ; 
For we suspect thee not, and take good heart. 
It is the cause, and not our will, which asks 
Such actions from our hands : we ''11 wash away 
All stains in Freedom''s fountain ! 

Enter Israel Bertuccio and tlie Doge, disguised, 


Welcome, Israel. 


Most welcome. — Brave Bertuccio, thou art late — 
Who is this stranger ? 

It is time to name him. 
Our comrades are even now prepared to greet him 
In brotherhood, as I have made it known 
That thou wouldst add a brother to our cause, 
Approved by thee, and thus approved by all. 
Such is our trust in all thine actions. Now 
Let him unfold himself. 


Stranger, step forth ! 
yVhe Doge discovers himself. 

78 MARINO FALIERO, act hi. 


To arms ! — we are betray M — it is the Doge ! 
Down with them both ! our traitorous captain, and 
The tyrant he hath sold us to ! 

CALENDARO (drawing his sword.) 
Hold! Hold! 
Who moves a step against them dies. Hold ! hear 
Bertuccio — What ! are you appall'd to see 
A lone, unguarded, weaponless old man 
Amongst you ? — Israel, speak ! what means this mystery ? 


Let them advance and strike at their own bosoms. 

Ungrateful suicides ! for on our lives 

Depend their own, their fortunes, and their hopes. 


Strike ! — If I dreaded death, a death more fearful 

Than any your rash weapons can inflict, 

I should not now be here : — Oh, noble Courage ! 

The eldest bom of Fear, which makes you brave 

Against this sohtary hoary head ! 

See the bold chiefs, who would reform a state 

And shake down senates, mad with wrath and dread 

At sight of one patrician. — Butcher me. 

You can ; I care not. — Israel, are these men 

The mighty hearts you spoke of? look upon them ! 


Faith ! he hath shamed us, and deservedly. 
Was this your trust in your true Chief Bertuccio, 
To turn your swords against him and his guest ? 
Sheathe them, and hear him. 



I disdain to speak. 
They might and must have known a heart like mine 
Incapable of treachery ; and the power 
They gave me to adopt all fitting means 
To further their design was ne'er abused. 
They might be certain that whoe'er was brought 
By me into this council, had been led 
To take his choice — as brother, or as victim. 


And which am I to be .'' your actions leave 
Some cause to doubt the freedom of the choice. 


My lord, we would have perish'd here together, 
Had these rash men proceeded ; but, behold. 
They are ashamed of that mad moment's impulse. 
And droop their heads ; believe me, they are such 
As I described them — Speak to them. 


Ay, speak ; 
We are all listening in wonder. 


Addressing the Conspirators. 
' You are safe, 

Nay, more, almost triumphant — listen then. 
And know my words for truth. 


You see me here. 
As one of you hath said, an old, unarm'd. 
Defenceless man ; and yesterday you saw me 


Presiding in the hall of ducal state, 

Apparent sovereign of our hundred isles, 

Robed in official purple, dealing out 

The edicts of a power which is not mine. 

Nor yours, but of our masters — the patricians. 

Why I was there you know, or think you know ; 

Why I am here, he who hath been most wrong'd, 

He who among you hath been most insulted, 

Outraged and trodden on, until he doubt 

If he be worm or no, may answer for me. 

Asking of his own heart what brought him here ? 

You know my recent story, all men know it, 

And judge of it far differently from those 

Who sate in judgment to heap scorn on scorn. 

But spare me the recital — it is here. 

Here at my heart the outrage — but my words, 

Already spent in unavailing plaints. 

Would only show my feebleness the more. 

And I come here to strengthen even the strong. 

And urge them on to deeds, and not to war 

With woman''s weapons ; but I need not urge you. 

Our private wrongs have sprung from public vices 

In this — I cannot call it commonwealth 

Nor kingdom, which hath neither prince nor people. 

But all the sins of the old Spartan state 

Without its virtues — temperance and valour. 

The lords of Lacedemon were true soldiers. 

But ours are Sybarites, while we are Helots, 

Of whom I am the lowest, most enslaved, 

Although drest out to head a pageant, as 

sc. n. DOGE OF VENICE. 81 

The Greeks of yore made drunk their slaves to form 

A pastime for their children. You are met 

To overthrow this monster of a state, 

This mockery of a government, this spectre. 

Which must be exorcised with blood, and then 

We will renew the times of truth and justice. 

Condensing in a fair free commonwealth 

Not rash equality but equal rights, 

Proportion''d like the columns to the temple, 

Giving and taking strength reciprocal. 

And making firm the whole with grace and beauty, 

So that no part could be removed without 

Infringement of the general symmetry. 

In operating this great change, I claim 

To be one of you — if you tru^t in me ; 

If not, strike home, — my life is compromised. 

And I would rather fall by freemen''s hands 

Than live another day to act the tyrant 

As delegate of tyrants ; such I am not. 

And never have been — ^read it in our annals ; 

I can appeal to my past government 

In many lands and cities ; they can tell you 

If I were an oppressor, or a man 

Feeling and thinking for my fellow men. 

Haply had I been what the senate sought, 

A thing of robes and trinkets, dizen'd out 

To sit in state as for a sovereign's picture ; 

A popular scourge, a ready sentence-signer, 

A stickler for the Senate and " the Forty,*" 


A sceptic of all measures which had not 

The sanction of " The Ten,'' a council-fawner, 

A tool, a fool, a puppet, — they had ne''er 

Fostered the wretch who stung me. What I suffer 

Has reached me through my pity for the people ; 

That many know, and they who know not yet 

Will one day learn : meantime, I do devote, 

Whatever the issue, my last days of life — 

My present power such as it is, not that 

Of Doge, but of a man who has been great 

Before he was degraded to a Doge, 

And still has individual means and mind ; 

I stake my fame (and I had fame) — my breath — 

(The least of all, for its last hours are nigh) 

My heart — my hope — ^my soul — upon this cast ! 

Such as I am, I offer me to you 

And to your chiefs, accept me or reject me, 

A Prince who fain would be a citizen 

Or nothing, and who has left his throne to be so. 


Long hve FaUero ! — Venice shall be free ! 


Long live Faliero ! 


Comrades ! did I well ? 
Is not this man a host in such a cause .'* 


This is no time for eulogies, nor place 
For exultation. Am I one of you ? 



Ay, and the first amongst us, as thou hast been 
Of Venice — ^be our general and chief. 


Chief ! — ^general ! — I was general at Zara, 

And chief in Rhodes and Cyprus, prince in Venice ; 

I cannot stoop that is, I am not fit 

To lead a band of ^patriots : when I lay 

Aside the dignities which I have borne, 
'Tis not to put on others, but to be 
Mate to my fellows — ^but now to the point : 
Israel has stated to me your whole plan — 
""Tis bold, but feasible if I assist it. 
And must be set in motion instantly. 


E'en when thou wilt — is it not so, my friends .'* 
I have disposed all for a sudden blow ; 
When shall it be then ? 


At sunrise. 


So soon ? 


So soon ? — so late — each hour accumulates 
Peril on peril, and the more so now 
Since I have mingled with you ; know you not 
The Council, and " the Ten .?" the spies, the eyes 
Of the patricians dubious of their slaves, 
And now more dubious of the prince they have made one ? 



I'tell you you must strike, and suddenly, 

Full to the Hydra's heart — ^its heads will follow. 


With all my soul and sword I yield assent ; 
Our companies are ready, sixty each, 
And all now under arms by Israel's order ; 
Each at their different place of rendezvous, 
And vigilant, expectant of some blow ; 
Let each repair for action to his post ! 
And now, my lord, the signal ? 

• DOGE. 

When you hear 
The great bell of Saint Mark's, which may not be 
Struck without special order of the Doge, 
(The last poor privilege they leave their prince), 
March on Saint Mark's ! 


And there ? — 


By different routes 
Let your march be directed, every sixty 
Entering a separate avenue, and still 
Upon the way let your cry be of war 
And of the Genoese fleet, by the first dawn 
Discem'd before the port ; form round the palace, 
Within whose court will be drawn out in arms 
My nephew and the chents of our house, 
Many and martial ; while the bell tolls on, 
Shout ye, " Saint Mark ! — the foe is on our waters r 



I see it now — but on, my noble lord. 


All the patricians flocking to the Council, 
(Which they dare not refuse, at the dread signal 
Pealing from out their patron smnfs proud tower) 
Will then be gathered in unto the harvest. 
And we will reap them with the sword for sickle. 
If some few should be tardy or absent them, 
"■Twill be but to be taken faint and single, 
When the majority are put to rest. 


Would that the hour were come ! we will not scotch, 
But kill. 


Once more, sir, with your pardon, I 
Would now repeat the question which I askM 
Before Bertuccio added to our cause 
This great ally who renders it more sure, 
And therefore safer, and as such admits 
Some dawn of mercy to a portion of 
Our victims — must all perish in this slaughter ? 


All who encounter me and mine, be sure. 
The mercy they have shown, I show. 


All! all! 
Is this a time to talk of pity ? when 
Have they c'*cr shown, or felt, or feign'd it ? 



This false compassion is a folly, and 
Injustice to thy comrades and thy cause ! 
Dost thou not see, that if we single out 
Some for escape, they live but to avenge 
The fallen ? and how distinguish now the innocent 
From out the guilty ? all their acts are 07ie — 
A single emanation from one body. 
Together knit for our oppression ! 'Tis 
Much that we let their children live ; I doubt 
If all of these even should be set apart : 
The hunter may reserve some single cub 
From out the tiger''s litter, but who e'er 
Would seek to save the spotted sire or dam, 
Unless to perish by their fangs ? however, 
I will abide by Doge Faliero's counsel ; 
Let him decide if any should be saved. 


Ask me not — tempt me not with such a question — 
Decide yourselves. 


You know their private virtues 
Far better than we can, to whom alone 
Their public vices, and most foul oppression. 
Have made them deadly ; if there be amongst them 
One who deserves to be repeaPd, pronounce. 


Dolfino's father was my friend, and Lando 


Fought by my side, and Marc Cornaro shared 
My Genoese embassy ; I saved the hfe 
Of Veniero — shall I save it twice ? 
Would that I could save them and Venice also ! 
All these men, or their fathers, were my friends 
Till they became my subjects ; then fell from me 
As faithless leaves drop from the o''erblown flower, 
And left me a lone blighted thorny stalk, 
Which, in its solitude, can shelter nothing ; 
So, as they let me wither, let them perish ! 


They cannot co-exist with Venice"* freedom ! 


Ye, though you know and feel our mutual mass 

Of many wrongs, even ye are ignorant 

What fatal poison to the springs of life. 

To human ties, and all that'*s good and dear, 

Lurks in the present institutes of Venice : 

All these men were my friends ; I loved them, they 

Requited honourably my regards ; 

We served and fought ; we smiled and wept in concert ; 

We revell'd or we sorrowM side by side ; 

We made alliances of blood and marriage ; 

We grew in years and honours fairly, till 

Their own desire, not my ambition, made 

Them choose me for their prince, and then farewell ! 

Farewell all social memory ! all thoughts 

In common ! and sweet bonds which hnk old friendships. 

When the survivors of long years and actions, 



Which now belong to history, soothe the days 
Which yet remain by treasuring each other, 
And never meet, but each beholds the mirror 
Of half a century on his brother^s brow. 
And sees a hundred beings, now in earth. 
Flit round them whispering of the days gone by, 
And seeming not all dead, as long as two 
Of the brave, joyous, reckless, glorious band. 
Which once were one and many, still retain 
A breath to sigh for them, a tongue to speak 

Of deeds that else were silent, save on marble 

Oime ! Oime ! — and must I do this deed ? 


My lord, you are much moved : it is not now 
That such things must be dwelt upon. 


Your patience 
A moment — I recede not : mark with me 
The gloomy vices of this government. 
From the hour that made me Doge, the Doge they made 

me — 
Farewell the past ! I died to all that had been. 
Or rather they to me : no friends, no kindness. 
No privacy of life — all were cut off*: 
They came not near me, such approach gave umbrage ; 
They could not love me, such was not the law ; 
They thwarted me, 'twas the state''s policy ; 
They baffled me, "'twas a patrician's duty ; 
They wrong'd me, for such was to right the state ; 


They could not right me, that would give suspicion ; 

So that I was a slave to my own subjects ; 

So that I was a foe to my own friends ; 

Begirt with spies for guards — with robes for power — 

With pomp for freedom — ^gaolers for a council — 

Inquisitors for friends — and hell for life ! 

I had one ofily fount of quiet left, 

And that they poison''d ! My pure household gods 

Were shivered on my heairth, and o'er their shrine 

Sate grinning ribaldry and sneering scorn. 


You have been deeply wrongM, and now shall be 
Nobly avenged before another night. 


I had borne all — it hurt me, but I bore it — 
Till this last running over of the cup 
Of bitterness — until this last loud insult, 
Not only unredressM, but sanction'*d ; then. 
And thus, I cast all further feelings from me — 
The feelings which they crush''d for me, long, long 
Before, even jn their oath of false allegiance ! 
Even in that very hour and vow, they abjured 
Their friend and made a sovereign, as boys make 
Playthings, to do their pleasure and be broken ! 
I from that hour have seen but senators 
In dark suspicious conflict with the Doge, 
Brooding with him in mutual hate and fear ; 
They dreading he should snatch the tyranny 
From out their grasp, and he abhorring tyrants. 


To me, then, these men have no private Hfe, 
Nor claim to ties they have cut off from others ; 
As senators for arbitrary acts 
Amenable, I look on them — as such 
Let them be dealt upon. 


And now to action ! 
Hence, brethren, to our posts, and may this be 
The last night of mere words : I 'd fain be doing ! 
Saint Mark''s great bell at dawn shall find me wakeful ! 


Disperse then to your posts : be firm and vigilant ; 
Think on the wrongs we bear, the rights we claim. 
This day and night shall be the last of peril ! 
Watch for the signal, and then march. I go 
To join my band ; let each be prompt to marshal 
His separate charge : the Doge will now return 
To the palace to prepare aU for the blow. 
We part to meet in freedom and in glory ! 


Doge, when I greet you next, my homage to you 
Shall be the head of Steno on this sword ! 


No ; let him be reserved unto the last. 
Nor turn aside to strike at such a prey, 
TiU nobler game is quarried : his offence 
Was a mere ebulHtion of the vice. 
The general corruption generated 
By the foul aristocracy ; he could not — 


He dared not in more honourable days 
Have risk'd it ! I have merged all private wrath 
Against him, in the thought of our great purpose. 
A slave insults me — I require his punishment 
From his proud master's hands ; if he refuse it, 
The offence grows his, and let him answer it. 


Yet, as the immediate cause of the alliance 
Which consecrates our undertaking more, 
I owe him such deep gratitude, that fain 
I would repay him as he merits ; may I ? 


You would but lop the hand, and I the head ; 

You would but smite the scholar, I the master ; 

You would but punish Steno, I the senate. 

I cannot pause on individual hate. 

In the absorbing, sweeping, whole revenge, 

Which, like the sheeted fire from heaven, must blast 

Without distinction, as it fell of yore. 

Where the Dead Sea hath quenched two cities'* ashes. 


Away, then, to your posts ! I but remain 
A moment to accompany the Doge 
To our late place of tryst, to see no spies 
Have been upon the scout, and thence I hasten 
To where my allotted band is under arms. 


Farewell, then, until dawn. 


Success go with you ! 

92 MARINO FALIERO, act hi. 


We will not fail — away ! My lord, farewell ! 

[The Conspirators salute the Doge and Israel Ber- 
Tuccio, ajid retire, headed hy Philip Calendaro. 
The Doge and Israel Bertuccio remain. 

ISRAEL bertuccio. 

We have them in the toil — ^it cannot fail ! 
Now thou Vt indeed a sovereign, and wilt make 
A name immortal greater than the greatest : 
Free citizens have struck at kings ere now ; 
Caesars have fallen, and even patrician hands 
Have crushed dictators, as the popular steel 
Has reach''d patricians ; but until this hour. 
What prince has plotted for his people''s freedom ? 
Or risked a life to liberate his subjects ? 
For ever, and for ever, they conspire 
Against the people, to abuse their hands 
To chains, but laid aside to carry weapons 
Against the fellow nations, so that yoke 
On yoke, and slavery and death may whet. 
Not glut, the never-gorged Leviathan ! 
Now, my lord, to our enterprise ; 'tis great. 
And greater the reward ; why stand you rapt ? 
A moment back, and you were all impatience ! 


And is it then decided ? must they die ? 

ISRAEL bertuccio. 


sc. 11. DOGE OF VENICE. 98 


My own friends by blood and courtesy, 
And many deeds and days — the senators ? 


You passed their sentence, and it is a just one. 


Ay, so it seems, and so it is to you ; 

You are a patriot, a plebeian Gracchus — 

The rebePs oracle — the people's tribune — 

I blame you not, you act in your vocation ; 

They smote you, and oppress'*d you, and despised you ; 

So they have me : but you ne'*er spake ^vith them ; 

You never broke their bread, nor shared their salt ; 

You never had their wine-cup at your lips ; 

You grew not up with them, nor laugh''d, nor wept. 

Nor held a revel in their company ; 

Ne'er smiled to see them smile, nor claimed their smile 

In social interchange for yours, nor trusted 

Nor wore them in your heart of hearts, as I have : 

These hairs of mine are grey, and so are theirs. 

The elders of the council ; I remember 

When all our locks were like the raven's wing, 

As we went forth to take our prey around 

The isles wrung from the false Mahometan ; 

And can I see them dabbled o'er with blood .? 

Each stab to them will seem my suicide. 


Doge ! Doge ! this vacillation is unworthy 
A child ; if you are not in second childhood, 

94 MARINO FALIERO, act in. 

Call back your nerves to your own purpose, nor 

Thus shame yourself and me. By heavens ! I 'd rather 

Forego even now, or fail in our intent, 

Than see the man I venerate subside 

From high resolves into such shallow weakness ! 

You have seen blood in battle, shed it, both 

Your own and that of others ; can you shrink then 

From a few drops from veins of hoary vampires, 

Who but give back what they have drained from millions? 


Bear with me ! Step by step, and blow on blow, 

1 will divide mth you ; think not I waver : 

Ah ! no ; it is the certainty of all 

Which I must do doth make me tremble thus. 

But let these last and lingering thoughts have way, 

To which you only and the Night are conscious. 

And both regardless ; when the hour arrives, 

'Tis mine to sound the knell, and strike the blow. 

Which shall unpeople many palaces, 

And hew the highest genealogic trees 

Down to the earth, strew'd with their bleeding fruit, 

And crush their blossoms into barrenness : 

This will I — must I — have I sworn to do. 

Nor aught can turn me from my destiny ; 

But still I quiver to behold what I 

Must be, and think what I have been ! Bear with me. 


Re-man your breast ; I feel no such remorse, 


I understand it not : why should you change ? 
You acted, and you act on your free ^vill. 


Ay, there it is — you feel not, nor do I, 

Else I should stab thee on the spot, to save 

A thousand lives, and, killing, do no murder ; 

Youjeel not — i/ou go to this butcher- work 

As if these high-bom men were stfeers for shambles ! 

When all is over, you '11 be free and merry, 

And calmly wash those hands incarnadine ; 

But I, outgoing thee and all thy fellows 

In this surpassing massacre, shall be, 

Shall see, and feel — oh God 1 oh God ! 'tis true, 

And thou dost well to answer that it was 

" My own free will and act,"" and yet you err, 

For I zvill do this ! Doubt not — fear not ; I 

Will be your most unmerciful accomplice ! 

And yet I act no more on my free ^vill. 

Nor my own feelings — both compel me back ; 

But there is hell within me and around, 

And like the demon who believes and trembles 

Must I abhor and do. Away ! away ! 

Get thee unto thy fellows, I will hie me 

To gather the retainers of our house. 

Doubt not, Saint Mark's great bell shall wake all Venice, 

Except her slaughtered senate : ere the sun 

Be broad upon the Adriatic there 

Shall be a voice of weeping, which shall drown 

The roar of waters in the cry of blood ! 

I am resolved — come on. 

96 MARINO FALIERO, act in. 


With all my soul ! 
Keep a firm rein upon these bursts of passion ; 
Remember what these men have dealt to thee. 
And that this sacrifice will be succeeded 
By ages of prosperity and freedom 
To this unshackled city : a true tyrant 
Would have depopulated empires, nor 
Have felt the strange compunction which hath wrung yon 
To punish a few traitors to the people ! 
Trust me, such were a pity more misplaced 
Than the late mercy of the state to Steno. 


Man, thou hast struck upon the chord which jars 
All nature from my heart. Hence to our task ! 





Palazzo qftJie Patrician Lioni. Lioni laying aside the 
mask and cloak which tlte Venetian Nobles wore in 
pitblic, attended by a Domestic. 


I will to rest, right weary of this revel, 
The gayest we have held for many moons, 
And yet, I know not why, it cheer'd me not ; 
There came a heaviness across my heart. 
Which, in the lightest movement of the dance, 
Though eye to eye, and hand in hand united 
Even with the lady of my love, oppress^ me. 
And through my spirit chilPd my blood, until 
A damp like death rose o'er my brow ; I strove 
To laugh the thought away, but 't would not be ; 
Through all the music ringing in my ears 
A knell was sounding as distinct and clear. 
Though low and far, as e'er the Adrian wave 
Rose o'er the city's murmur in the night, 
Dashing against the outward Lido's bulwark : 
So that I left the festival before 
It reach'd its zenith, and will woo my pillow 
For thoughts more tranquil, or forgetfulness. 

98 MARINO FALIERO, act iv. 

Antonio, take my mask and cloak, and light 
The lamp within my chamber. 


Yes, my lord : 
Command you no refreshment ? 


Nought, save -sleep, 
Which will not be commanded. Let me hope it, 

[Ea^it Antonio. 
Though my breast feels too anxious ; I will try 
Whether the air will calm my spirits : 'tis 
A goodly night ; the cloudy wind which blew 
From the Levant hath crept into its cave. 
And the broad moon has brightened. What a stillness ! 

[Goes to an open lattice. 
And what a contrast with the scene I left, . 
Where the tall torches' glare, and silver lamps'* 
More pallid gleam along the tapestried walls. 
Spread over the reluctant gloom which haunts 
Those vast and dimly-latticed galleries 
A dazzling mass of artificial light. 
Which showed all things, but nothing as they were. 
There Age essaying to recall the past. 
After long striving for the hues of youth > 

At the sad labour of the toilet, and 
Full many a glance at the too faithful mirror, 
Prankt forth in all the pride of ornament. 
Forgot itself, and trusting to the falsehood 
Of the indulgent beams, which show, yet hide. 


Believed itself forgotten, and was foord. 

There Youth, which needed not, nor thought of such 

Vain adjuncts, lavished its true bloom, and health, 

And bridal beauty, in the unwholesome press 

Of flushed and crowded wassailers, and wasted 

Its hours of rest in dreaming this was pleasure, 

And so shall waste them tiU the sunrise streams 

On sallow cheeks and sunken eyes, which should not 

Have worn this aspect yet for many a vear. 

The music, and the banquet, and the wine — 

The garlands, the rose odours, and the flowers — 

The sparkling eyes and flashing ornaments — 

The white arms and the raven hair — the braids 

And bracelets ; swanlike bosoms, and the necklace. 

An India in itself, yet dazzhng not 

The eye like what it circled ; the thin robes 

Floating hke light clouds 'twixt our gaze and heaven ; 

The many-twinkling feet so small and sylphhke. 

Suggesting the more secret symmetry 

Of the fair forms which terminate so well — 

All the delusion of the dizzy scene. 

Its false and true enchantments — art and nature. 

Which swam before my giddy eyes, that drank 

The sight of beauty as the parch''d pilgrim's 

On Arab sands the false mirage, which offers 

A lucid lake to his eluded thirst. 

Are gone. — Around me are the stars and waters — 

Worlds mirrorM in the ocean, goodlier sight 

Than torches glared back by a gaudy glass ; 


100 MARINO FALIERO, act iv. 

And the great element, which is to space 

What ocean is to earth, spreads its blue depths, 

Soften'*d with the first breathings of the spring ; 

The high moon sails upon her beauteous way, 

Serenely smoothing o'er the lofty walls 

Of those tall piles and sea.-girt palaces. 

Whose porphyry pillars, and whose cosdy fronts. 

Fraught with the orient spoil of many marbles, 

Like altars ranged along the broad canal, 

Seem each a trophy of some mighty deed 

Rear'd up from out the waters, scarce less strangely 

Than those more massy and mysterious giants 

Of architecture, those Titanian fabrics, 

Which point in Egypt's plains to times that have 

No other record. All is gentle : nought 

Stirs rudely ; but, congenial with the night, 

Whatever walks is gliding hke a spirit. 

The tinklings of some vigilant guitars 

Of sleepless lovers to a wakeful mistress. 

And cautious opening of the casement, showing 

That he is not unheard ; while her young hand. 

Fair as the moonlight of which it seems part. 

So delicately white, it trembles in 

The act of opening the forbidden lattice. 

To let in love through music, makes his heart 

Thrill like his lyre-strings at the sight ; — the dash 

Phosphoric of the oar, or rapid twinkle 

Of the far lights of skimming gondolas, 

And the responsive voices of the choir 

SC. I. 



Of boatmen answering back with verse for verse ; 
Some dusky shadow chequering the Rialto ; 
Some glimmering palace roof, or tapering spire, 
Are all the sights and sounds which here pervade 
The ocean-born and earth-commanding city — 
How sweet and soothing is this hour of calm ! 
I thank thee, Night ! for thou hast chased away 
Those horrid bodements which, amidst the throng, 
I could not dissipate : and with the blessing 
Of thy benign and quiet influence, — 
Now will I to my couch, although to rest 

Is almost wron^ng such a night as this 

[A knocking' is heard Jrom •mitfumt. 
Hark ! what is that ? or who at such a moment ? 

Enter Antonio. 


My lord, a man without, on urgent business, 
Implores to be admitted. 


Is he a stranger ? 


His face is muffled in his cloak, but both 
His voice and gestures seem familiar to me ; 
I craved his name, but this he seem'd reluctant 
To trust, save to yourself; most earnestly 
He sues to be permitted to approach you. 

102 MARINO FALIERO, act iv. 


'Tis a strange hour, and a suspicious bearing ! 
And yet there is slight peril : "'tis not in 
Their houses noble men are struck at ; still, 
Although I know not that I have a foe 
In Venice, 'twill be wise to use some caution. 
Admit him, and retire ; but call up quickly 
Some of thy fellows, who may wait without. — 

Who can this man be ? 

[Ea:it Antonio, and returns with Bertram, muffled. 


My good lord Lioni, 
I have no time to lose, nor thou — dismiss 
This menial hence ; I would be private with you. 


It seems the voice of Bertram — ^go, Antonio. 

[Exit Antonio. 
Now, stranger, what would you at such an hour ? 

BERTRAM {discovering himself). 
A boon, my noble patron ; you have granted 
Many to your poor client, Bertram ; add 
This one, and make him happy. 


Thou hast known me 
From boyhood, ever ready to assist thee 
In all fair objects of advancement, which % 

Beseem one of thy station ; I would promise 
Ere thy request was heard, but that the hour. 
Thy bearing, and this strange and hurried mode 

sc. I. DOGE OE VENICE. 103 

Of suing, gives me to suspect this visit 
Hath some mysterious import — ^l)ut say on — 
What has occurred, some rash and sudden broil ? — 
A cup too much, a scuffle, and a stab ? — 
Mere things of every day ; so that thou hast not 
Spilt noble blood, I guarantee thy safety ; 
But then thou must withdraw, for angry friends 
And relatives, in the first burst of vengeance, 
Are things in Venice deadlier than the laws. 


My lord, I thank you ; but 


But what ? You have not 
Raised a rash hand against one of our order .'* 
If so, withdraw and fly, and own it not ; 
I would not slay — ^but then I must not save thee ! 
He who has shed patrician blood 


I come 
To save patrician blood, and not to shed it ! 
And thereunto I must be speedy, for 
Each minute lost may lose a life ; since Time 
Has changed his slow scythe for the two-edged sword, 
And is about to take, instead of sand. 
The dust from sepulchres to fill his hour-glass ! — 
Go not thoii forth to-morrow ! 


Wherefore not f — 
What means this menace .'* 




Do not seek its meaning, 
But do as I implore thee ; — stir not forth, 
Whate'^er be stirring ; though the roar of crowds — 
The cry of women, and the shrieks of babes — 
The groans of men — the clash of arms — the sound 
Of rolling drum, shrill trump, and hollow bell, 
Peal in one wide alarum ! — Go not forth 
Until the tocsin 's silent, nor even then 
Till I return ! 


Again, what does this mean ? 


Again, I tell thee, ask not ; but by all 
Thou boldest dear on earth or heaven — by all 
The souls of thy great fathers, and thy hope 
To emulate them, and to leave behind 
Descendants worthy both of them and thee — 
By all thou hast of blest in hope or memory — 
By all thou hast to fear here or hereafter — 
By all the good deeds thou hast done to me. 
Good I would now repay with greater good. 
Remain within — trust to thy household gods. 
And to my word for safety, if thou dost 
As I now counsel — ^but if not, thou art lost f 


I am indeed already lost in wonder ; 
Surely thou ravest ! what have / to dread ? 
Who are my foes ? or if there be such, whi/ 

sc. I. DOGE OF VENICE. 105 

Art thou leagued with them ? — thou ! or if so leagued, 
Why comest thou to tell me at this hour, 
And not before ? 


I cannot answer this. 
Wilt thou go forth despite of this true warning ? 


I was not bom to shrink from idle threats, 
The cause of which I know not : at the hour 
Of council, be it soon or late, I shall not 
Be found among the absent. 


Say not so ! 
Once more, art thou determined to go forth ? 


I am. Nor is there aught which shall impede me ! 


Then Heaven have mercy on thy soul ! — Farewell ! 



Stay — there is more in this than my own safety 

Which makes me call thee back ; we must not part thus : 

Bertram, I have known thee long. 


From childhood, signor. 
You have been my protector : in the days 
Of reckless infancy, when rank forgets. 
Or, rather, is not yet taught to remember 
Its cold prerogative, we play**d together; 


Our sports, our smiles, our tears, were mingled oft ; 

My father was your father'*s client, I 

His son's scarce less than foster-brother ; years 

Saw us together — ^happy, heart-full hours ! — 

Oh God ! the difference 'twixt those hours and this ! 


Bertram, 'tis thou who hast forgotten them. 


Nor now, nor ever ; whatsoe'er betide, 

I would have saved you : when to manhood's growth 

We sprung, and you, devoted to the state. 

As suits your station, the more humble Bertram 

Was left unto the labours of the humble. 

Still you forsook me not ; and if my fortunes 

Have not been towering, 'twas no fault of him 

Who oft-times rescued and supported me 

When struggling with the tides of circumstance 

Which bear away the weaker : noble blood 

Ne'er mantled in a nobler heart than thine 

Has proved to me, the poor plebeian Bertram. 

Would that thy fellow senators were Uke thee ! 


Why, what hast thou to say against the senate ? 




I know that there are angry spirits 
And turbulent mutterers of stifled treason 
Who lurk in naiTow places, and walk out 

sc. r. DOGE OF VENICE. 107 

Muffled to whisper curses t» the night ; 

Disbanded soldiers, discontented ruffians, 

And desperate libertines who brawl in taverns ; 

Thou herdest not with such : 'tis true, of late 

I have lost sight of thee, but thou wert wont 

To lead a temperate life, and break thy bread 

With honest mates, and bear a cheerful aspect. 

What hath come to thee ? in thy hollow eye '% 

And hueless cheek, and thine unquiet motions, 

Sorrow and shame and conscience seem at war 

To waste thee ? 


Rather shame and sorrow light 
On the accursed tyranny which rides 
The very air in Venice, and makes men 
Madden as in the last hours of the plague 
Which sweeps the soul deliriously from life ! 


Some villains have been tampering with thee, Bertram ; 

This is not thy old language, nor own thoughts ; 

Some Avretch has made thee drunk with disaffection ; 

But thou must not be lost so ; thou wert good 

And kind, and art not fit for such base acts 

As vice and villany would put thee to : 

Confess — confide in me — thou know'st my nature — 

What is it thou and thine are bound to do. 

Which should prevent thy friend, the only son 

Of him who was a friend unto thy father. 

So that our good-will is a heritage 

108 MARINO FALIERO, act iv. 

We should bequeath to our posterity 

Such as ourselves received it, or augmented ; 

I say, what is it thou must do, that I 

Should deem thee dangerous, and keep the house 

Like a sick girl ? , 


Nay, question me no further : 
I must be gone. 


And I be murdered ! — say, 
Was it not thus thou said'st, my gentle Bertram 'i 


Who talks of murder .? what said I of murder .? — 
■"Tis false ! I did not utter such a word. 


Thou didst not; but from out thy wolfish eye, 

So changed from what I knew it, there glares forth 

The gladiator. If my life 's thine object. 

Take it — I am unarm''d, — and then away ! 

I would not hold my breath on such a tenure 

As the capricious mercy of such things 

As thou and those who have set thee to thy task-work. 


Sooner than spill thy blood, I peril mine ; 
Sooner than harm a hair of thine, I place 
In jeopardy a thousand heads, and some 
As noble, nay, even nobler than thine own. 


Ay, is it even so ? Excuse me, Bertram ; 

sc. I. DOGE OF VENICE. 109 

I am not worthy to be singled out 

From such exalted hecatombs — who are they 

That are in danger, and that make the danger ? 


Venice, and all that she inherits, are 

Divided hke a house against itself, 

And so will perish ere to-morrow'*s twilight ! 


More mysteries, and awful ones ! But now. 

Or thou, or I, or both it may be, are 

Upon the verge of ruin ; speak once out. 

And thou art safe and glorious ; for 'tis more 

Glorious to save than slay, and slay i' the dark too — 

Fie, Bertram ! that was not a craft for thee ! 

How would it look to see upon a spear 

The head of him whose heart was open to thee, 

Borne by thy hand before the shuddering people ? 

And such may be my doom ; for here I swear. 

Whatever the peril or the penalty 

Of thy denunciation, I go forth. 

Unless thou dost detail the cause, and show 

The consequence of all which led thee here ! 


Is there no way to save thee ? minutes fly. 

And thou art lost ! — thou ! my sole benefactor. 

The only being who was constant to me 

Through every change. Yet, make me not a traitor ! 

Let me save thee — ^but spare my honour ! 



110 MARINO FALIERO, act iv. 

Can lie the honour in a league of murder ? 
And who are traitors save unto the state ? 


A league is still a compact, and more binding 
In honest hearts when words must stand for law ; 
And in my mind, there is no traitor like 
He whose domestic treason plants the poniard 
Within the breast which trusted to his truth. 


And who will strike the steel to mine ? 


Not I; 
I could have wound my soul up to all things 
Save this. TJwii must not die ! and think how dear 
Thy life is, when I risk so many lives, 
Nay, more, the life of lives, the Hberty 
Of future generations, not to be 
The assassin thou miscall'st me ; — once, once more 
I do adjure thee, pass not oVr thy threshold ! 


It is in vain — this moment I go forth. 


Then perish Venice rather than my friend ! 
I will disclose — ensnare — ^betray — destroy — 
Oh, what a villain I become for thee ! 


Say, rather thy friend''s saviour and the state's ! — 
Speak — pause not — all rewards, all pledges for 
Thy safety and thy welfare ; wealth such as 
The state accords her worthiest servants ; nay, 


Nobility itself I guarantee thee, 

So that thou art sincere and penitent. 


I have thought again : it must not be — I love th 
Thou knowest it — that I stand here is the proof, 
Njt least though last ; but having done my duty 
By thee, I now must do it by my country ! 
Farewell ! — we meet no more in life ! — farewell ! 


What, ho ! Antonio — Pedro — to the door ! 
See that none pass — arrest this man ! 

Enter Antonio and other armed Domestics, who 
seize Bertram. 

LIONI (continues). 

Take care 
He hath no harm ; bring me my sword and cloak. 
And man the gondola with four oars — quick — 

[Exit Antonio. 
We will unto Giovanni Gradenigo''s, 
And send for Marc Comaro : — fear not, Bertram ; 
This needful violence is for thy safety. 
No less than for the general weal. 


Where wouldst thou 
Bear me a prisoner ? 


Firstly to " the Ten ;" 
Next to the Doge. 



To the Doge? 


Assuredly : 
Is he not chief of the state ? 


Perhaps at sunrise — - 


What mean you .?— but we '11 know anon. 


Art sure ? 


Sure as all gentle means can make ; and if 
They fail, you know " the Ten'** and their tribunal, 
And that Saint Mark's has dungeons, and the dungeons 
A rack. 


Apply it then before the dawn 
Now hastening into heaven. — One more such word. 
And you shall perish piecemeal, by the death 
Ye think to doom to me. 

Re-enter Antonio. 


The bark is ready, 
My lord, and all prepared. 


Look to the prisoner. 

sc. II. DOGE OF VENICE. 113 

Bertram, I '11 reason with thee as we go 

To the Magnifico's, sage Gradenigo. [Ea^eunt 


The Ducal Palace — the Doge's Apartment, 
The Doge and his nephew Bertuccio Faliero. 


Are all the people of our house in muster ? 


They are array 'd, and eager for the signal, 
Within our palace precincts at San Polo. (4) 
I come for your last orders. 


It had been 
As well had there been time to have got together 
From my own fief, Val di Marino, more 
Of our retainers — ^but it is too late. 


Methinks, my lord, 'tis better as it is ; 

A sudden swelling of our retinue 

Had waked suspicion ; and, though fierce and trusty. 

The vassals of that district are too rude 

And quick in quarrel to have long maintained 

The secret discipUne we need for such 

A service, till our foes are dealt upon. 


Are capable of turning them aside. — 
How goes the night ? 


Almost upon the dawn. 


Then it is time to strike upon the bell. 
Are the men posted ? 


By this time they are ; 
But they have orders not to strike, until 
They have command from you through me in person. 


'Tis well. — Will the mom never put to rest 

These stars which twinkle yet o^er all the heavens ? 

I am settled and bound up, and being so, 

The very effort which it cost me to 

Resolve to cleanse this commonwealth with fire, 

Now leaves my mind more steady. I have wept, 

And trembled at the thought of this dread duty. 

But now I have put down all idle passion. 

And look the growing tempest in the face. 

As doth the pilot of an admiral galley : 

Yet (wouldst thou think it, kinsman ?) it hath been 

A greater struggle to me, than when nations 

Beheld their fate merged in the approaching fight, 

Where I was leader of a phalanx, where 

Thousands were sure to perish — Yes, to spill 

The rank polluted current from the veins 

Of a few bloated despots needed more 

sc. II. DOGE OF VENICE. 117 

To steel me to a purpose such as made 
Timoleon immortal, than to face 
The toils and dangers of a life of war. 


It gladdens me to see your former wisdom 
Subdue the furies which so wrung you ere 
You were decided. 


It was ever thus 
With me ; the hour of agitation came 
In the first glimmerings of a purpose, when 
Passion had too much room to sway ; but in 
The hour of action I have stood as calm 
As were the dead who lay around me : this 
They knew who made me what I am, and trusted 
To the subduing power which I preserved 
Over my mood, when its first burst was spent. 
But they were not aware that there are things 
Which make revenge a virtue by reflection. 
And not an impulse of mere anger ; though 
The laws sleep, justice wakes, and injured souls 
Oft do a public right with private wrong, 
And justify their deeds unto themselves. — 
Metliinks the day breaks — is it not so ? look, 
Thine eyes are clear with youth ;-^tlie air puts on 
A morning freshness, and, at least to me, 
The sea looks grayer through the lattice. 


The morn is dappling in the sky. 

118 MARINO FALIERO, act iv. 


Away then ! 
See that they strike without delay, and with 
The' first toll from St. Mark's, march on the palace 
With all our house's strength ; here I will meet you — 
The Sixteen and their companies will move 
In separate columns at the self-same moment — 
Be sure you post yourself by the great gate, 
I would not trust " the Ten" except to us — 
The rest, the rabble of patricians, may 
Glut the more careless swords of those leagued with us. 
Remember that the cry is still " Saint Mark ! 
" The Genoese are come — ho ! to the rescue ! 
" Saint Mark and liberty !" — Now — now to action ! 


Farewell then, noble uncle ! we will meet 
In freedom and true sovereignty, or never ! 


Come hither, my Bertuccio — one embrace — 
Speed, for the day grows broader — Send me soon 
A messenger to tell me how all goes 
When you rejoin our troops, and then sound — sound 
The storm-bell from Saint Mark's ! 

[Eirit Bertuccio Faliero. 
DOGE (solm). 

He is gone. 
And on each footstep moves a life. — ^'Tis done. 
Now the destroying Angel hovers o'er 
Venice, and pauses ere he pours the vial. 

sc. II. DOGE OF VENICE. 119 

Even as the eagle overlooks his prey, 

And for a moment, poised in middle air, 

Suspends the motion of his mighty wings. 

Then swoops with his unerring beak. — Thou day ! 

That slowly walk'st the waters ! march — ^march on — 

I would not smite i' the dark, but rather see 

That no stroke errs. And you, ye blue sea- waves ! 

I have seen you dyed ere now, and deeply too. 

With Genoese, Saracen, and Hunnish gore. 

While that of Venice flow'd too, but victorious : 

Now thou must wear an unmix'd crimson ; no 

Barbaric blood can reconcile us now 

Unto that horrible incarnadine. 

But friend or foe ^vill roll in civic slaughter. 

And have I lived to fourscore years for this ? 

I, who was named Preserver of the City ? 

I, at whose name the million's caps were flung 

Into the air, and cries from tens of thousands 

Rose up, imploring Heaven to send me blessings. 

And fame, and length of days — to see this day ? 

But this day, black within the calendar. 

Shall be succeeded by a bright millennium. ^ 

Doge Dandolo survived to ninety summers 

To vanquish empires, and refuse their crown ; 

I will resign a crown, and make the state 

Renew its freedom — ^but oh ! by what means ? 

The noble end must justify them — What 

Are a few drops of human blood ? 'tis false, 

The blood of tyrants is not human ; they. 

118 MARINO FALIERO, act iv. 


Away then ! 
See that they strike without delay, and with 
The' first toll from St. Mark's, march on the palace 
With all our house''s strength ; here I will meet you — 
The Sixteen and their companies will move 
In separate columns at the self-same moment — 
Be sure you post yourself by the great gate, 
I would not trust " the Ten" except to us — 
The rest, the rabble of patricians, may 
Glut the more careless swords of those leagued with us. 
Remember that the cry is still " Saint Mark ! 
'' The Genoese are come — ho ! to the rescue ! 
" Saint Mark and Hberty f — Now — now to action ! 


Farewell then, noble uncle ! we will meet 
In freedom and true sovereignty, or never ! 


Come hither, my Bertuccio — one embrace — 
Speed, for the day grows broader — Send me soon 
A messenger to tell me how all goes 
When you rejoin our troops, and then sound — sound 
The storm-bell from Saint Mark's ! 

[Ea^it Bertuccio Faliero. 
DOGE (solits). 

He is gone, 
And on each footstep moves a life. — ^'Tis done. 
Now the destroying Angel hovers o'er 
Venice, and pauses ere he pours the vial. 


sc. ir. DOGE OF VENICE. 119 

Even as the eagle overlooks his prey. 

And for a moment, poised in middle air, 

Suspends the motion of his mighty wings. 

Then swoops with his unerring beak. — ^Thou day ! 

That slowly walk'st the waters ! march — ^march on — 

I would not smite i' the dark, but rather see 

That no stroke errs. And you, ye blue sea-waves ! 

I have seen you dyed ere now, and deeply too, 

With Genoese, Saracen, and Hunnish gore, 

While that of Venice flow'd too, but victorious : 

Now thou must wear an unmix''d crimson ; no 

Barbaric blood can reconcile us now 

Unto that horrible incarnadine. 

But friend or foe will roll in civic slaughter. 

And have I lived to fourscore years for this ? 

I, who was named Preserver of the City ? 

I, at whose name the million's caps were flung 

Into the air, and cries from tens of thousands 

Rose up, imploring Heaven to send me blessings. 

And fame, and length of days — to see this day ? 

But this day, black within the calendar. 

Shall be succeeded by a bright millennium. 

Doge Dandolo survived to ninety summers 

To vanquish empires, and refuse their crown ; 

I will resign a crown, and make the state 

Renew its freedom — but oh ! by what means ? 

The noble end must justify them — What 

Are a few drops of human blood ? 'tis false, 

The blood of tyrants is not human ; they. 

120 MARINO FALIERO, act iv. 

Like to incarnate Molochs, feed on ours, 

Until 'tis time to give them to the tombs 

Which they have made so populous. — Oh world ! 

Oh men ! what are ye, and our best designs. 

That we must work by crime to punish crime ? 

And slay as if Death had but this one gate, 

When a few years would make the sword superfluous ? 

And I, upon the verge of th*" unknown realm, 

Yet send so many heralds on before me ? — 

I must not ponder this. 

[A pause. 
Hark ! was there not 
A murmur as of distant voices, and 
The tramp of feet in martial unison ? 
What phantoms even of sound our wishes raise ! 
It cannot be — the signal hath not rung — 
Why pauses it ? My nephew''s messenger 
Should be upon his way to me, and he 
Himself perhaps even now draws grating back 
Upon its ponderous hinge the steep tower portal. 
Where swings the sullen huge oracular bell. 
Which never knells but for a princely death, 
Or for a state in peril, pealing forth 
Tremendous bodements ; let it do its office, 
And be this peal its awfullest and last. 
Sound tni the strong tower rock ! — What ! silent still ? 
I would go forth, but that my post is here, 
To be the centre of re-union to 
The oft discordant elements which form 

sc. 11. DOGE OF VENICE. 121 

Leagues of this nature, and to keep compact 
The wavering or the weak, in case of conflict ; 
For if they should do battle, "'twill be here, 
Within the palace, that the strife will thicken ; 
Then here must be my station, as becomes 

The master-mover. Hark ! he comes — he comes, 

My nephew, brave Bertuccio''s messenger. — 
What tidings ? Is he marching ? hath he sped ? — 
Thei^ here ! — alPs lost — ^yet will I make an effort. 

JBw^a SiGNOR OF THE Night(5), with Gtiards, <^c, 4-c. 


Doge, I arrest thee of high treason ! 



Thy prince, of treason ? — Who are they that dare 
Cloak their own treason under such an order ? 

SIGNOR OF THE NIGHT {shoiving Ms ordcr,) 
Behold my order from the assembled Ten. 


And where are they, and whi/ assembled ? no 
Such council can be lawful, till the prince 
Preside there, and that duty's mine : on thine 
I charge thee, give me way, or marshal me 
To the council chamber. 


Duke ! it may not be ; 
Nor are they in the wonted Hall of Council, 
But sitting in the convent of Saint Saviour's. 

122 MARINO FALIERO, act iv. 


You dare to disobey me then ? 


I serve 
The state, and needs must serve it faithfully ; 
My warrant is the will of those who rule it. 


And till that warrant has my signature 

It is illegal, and, as now applied. 

Rebellious — Hast thou weighed well thy life''s worth. 

That thus you dare assume a lawless function ? 


'Tis not my office to reply, but act — 

I am placed here as guard upon thy person, 

And not as judge to hear or to decide. 

DOGE {aside,) 
I must gain time — So that the storm-bell sound 
All may be well yet. — Kinsman, speed — speed — speed ! — 
Our fate is trembling in the balance, and 
Woe to the vanquished ! be they prince and people, 
Or slaves and senate — 

[The great hell of Saint Marie's tolls, 
Lo ! it sounds — it tolls ! 
DOGE {aloud.) 
Hark, Signor of the Night ! and you, ye hirelings, 
Who wield your mercenary staves in fear, . 
It is your kneU — Swell on, thou lusty peal ! 
Now, knaves, what ransom for your lives ? 


Confusion ! 

sc. II. DOGE OF VENICE. ' 123 

Stand to your arms, and guard the door — alPs lost 

Unless that fearful bell be silenced soon. 

The officer hath miss'd his path or purpose, 

Or met some unforeseen and hideous obstacle. 

Anselmo, with thy company proceed 

Straight to the tower ; the rest remain with me. 

[Exit apart of the Guard. 


Wretch ! if thou wouldst have thy vile life, implore it ; 
It is not now a lease of sixty seconds. 
Ay, send thy miserable ruffians forth ; 
They never shall return. 


So let it be ! 
They die then in their duty, as will I. 


Fool ! the high eagle flies at nobler game 
Than thou and thy base myrmidons, — live on, 
So thou provok'^st not peril by resistance. 
And learn (if souls so much obscured can beai* 
To gaze upon the sunbeams) to be free. • 


And learn thou to be captive — It hath ceased, 

[The bell ceases to toU. 
The traitorous signal, which was to have set 
The bloodhound mob on their patrician prey — 
The knell hath rung, but it is not the senate's ! 

DOGE (after a pause,) 
All 's silent, and all \ lost ! 



Now, Doge, denounce me 
As rebel slave of a revolted council ! 
Have I not done my duty ? 


Peace, thou thing ! 
Thou hast done a worthy deed, and earn'd the price 
Of blood, and they who use thee will reward thee. 
But thou wert sent to watch, and not to prate, 
As thou said'st even now — then do thine office. 
But let it be in silence, as behoves thee. 
Since, though thy prisoner, I am thy prince. 


I did not mean to fail in the respect 

Due to your rank : in this I shall obey you. 

DOGE (aside.) 
There now is nothing left me save to. die ; 
And yet how near success ! I would have fallen. 
And proudly, in the hour of triumph, but 
To miss it thus ! 

Enter other Signors of the Night, with Bertuccio 
Faliero priswier. 


We took him in the act 
Of issuing from the tower, where, at his order. 
As delegated from the Doge, the signal 
Had thus begun to sound. 

sc. II. DOGE OF VENICE. 125 


Are all the passes 
Which lead up to the palace well secured ? 


They are — ^besides, it matters not ; the chiefs 
Are all in chains, and some even now on trial — 
Their followers are dispersed, and many taken. 


Uncle ! 


It is in vain to war with Fortune ; 
The Glory hath departed from our house. 


Who would have deemed it ? — Ah ! one moment sooner ! 


That moment would have changed the face of ages ; 
This gives us to eternity — We '11 meet it 
As men whose triumph is not in success. 
But who can make their own minds all in all, 
Equal to every fortune. Droop not, 'tis 
But a brief passage — I would go alone. 
Yet if they send us, as 'tis like, together. 
Let us go worthy of our sires and selves. 


I shall not shame you, uncle. 


Lords, our orders 
Are to keep guard on both in separate chambers. 
Until the council call ye to your trial. 

126 MARINO FALIERO, act iv. 


Our trial ! will they keep their mockery up 

Even to the last ? but let them deal upon us, 

As we had dealt on them, but with less pomp. 

'Tis but a game of mutual homicides, 

Who have cast lots for the first death, and they 

Have won with false dice. — Who hath been our Judas ? 


I am not warranted to answer that. 


I '11 answer for thee — ^'tis a certain Bertram, 
Even now deposing to the secret giunta. 


Bertram, the Bergamask ! With what vile tools 
We operate to slay or save ! This creature. 
Black with a double treason, now will earn 
Rewards and honours, and be stamp'd in story 
With the geese in the Capitol, which gabbled 
Till Rome awoke, and had an annual triumph. 
While Manhus, who hurPd down the Gauls, was cast 
From the Tarpeian. 


He aspired to treason, 
And sought to rule the state. 


He saved the state. 
And sought but to reform what he revived — 
But this is idle Come, sirs, do your work. 

sc. II. DOGE OF VENICE. 127 


Noble Bertuccio, we must now remove you 
Into an inner chamber. 


Farewell, uncle ! 
If we shall meet again in life I know not, 
But they perhaps will let our ashes mingle. 


Yes, and our spirits, which shall yet go forth, 

And do what our frail clay, thus clogg'd, hath fail'd in ! 

They cannot quench the memory of those 

Who would have hurPd them from their guilty thrones, 

And such examples will find heirs, though distant. 




The Hall of the Council of Ten assembled with the ad- 
ditional Senators, who, on the Trials of the Conspirators 
for the Treason o/^Marino Faliero, composed wliat 
was called the Giunta. — Guards, Officers, <^c. <^c. — 
Israel Bertuccio and Philip Calendar© as Pri- 
soners. — Bertram, Lioni, and Witnesses, ^c. 

The Chief of the Ten, Benintende. 

There now rests, after such conviction of 
Their manifold and manifest offences. 
But to pronounce on these obdurate men 
The sentence of the law : a grievous task 
To those who hear, and these who speak. Alas I 
That it should fall to me ! and that my days 
Of office should be stigmatised through all 
The years of coming time, as bearing record 
To this most foul and compHcated treason 
Against a just and free state, known to all 
The earth as being the Christian bulwai'k "'gainst 
The Saracen and the schismatic Greek, 

SC. I. 


The savage Hun, and not less barbarous Frank ; 
A city which has open'd India's wealth 
To Europe ; the last Roman refuge from 
Overwhelming Attila ; the ocean's queen ; 
Proud Genoa's prouder rival ! 'Tis to sap 
The throne of such a city, these lost men 
Have risk'd and forfeited their worthless lives — 
So let them die the death. 


We are prepared ; 
Your racks have done that for us. Let us die. 


If ye have that to say which would obtain 
Abatement of your punishment, the Giunta 
Will hear you ; if you have aught to confess. 
Now is your time, perhaps it may avail ye. 


We stand to hear, and not to speak. 


Your crimes 
Are fully proved by your accomplices. 
And all which circumstance can add to aid them ; 
Yet we would hear from your own Hps complete 
Avowal of your treason : on the verge 
Of that dread gulf which none repass, the truth 
Alone can profit you on earth or heaven — 
Say, then, what was your motive ? 


Justice ! 



Your object ? 



Freedom ! 


You are brief, sir. 


So my life grows : I 
Was bred a soldier, not a senator. 


Perhaps you think by this blunt brevity 

To brave your judges to postpone the sentence ? 


Do* you be brief as I am, and believe me, 
I shall prefer that mercy to your pardon. 


Is this your sole reply to the tribunal ? 


Go, ask your racks what they have wrung from us. 

Or place us there again ; we have still some blood left. 

And some slight sense of pain in these wrencVd limbs : 

But this ye dare not do ; for if we die there — 

And you have left us little life to spend 

Upon your engines, gorged with pangs already — 

Ye lose the public spectacle with which 

You would appal your slaves to further slavery ! 

Groans are not words, nor agony assent. 

Nor affirmation truth, if nature''s sense 

sc. I. DOGE OF VENICE. 131 

Should overcome the soul into a lie, 

For a short respite — must we bear or die ? 


Say, who were your accomplices ? 


The Senate ! 


What do you mean ? 


Ask of the suffering people. 
Whom your patrician crimes have driven to crime. 


You know the Doge ? 


I served with him at Zara 
In the field, when you were pleading here your way 
To present office ; we exposed our lives, 
While you but hazarded the lives of others, 
Alike by accusation or defence ; 
And, for the rest, all Venice knows her Doge, 
Through his great actions, and the senate"*s insults ! 


You have held conference with him ? 


I am weary — 
Even wearier of your questions than your tortures : 
I pray you pass to judgment. 


It is coming. — 



And you, too, Philip Calendaro, what ' < jjv : : 

Have you to say why you should not be doom''d ? 


I never was a man of many words, '• ^V - 

And now have few left worth the utterance. 


A further application of yon engine 
May change your tpne. 


Most true, it will do so ; 
A former application did so ; but 
It will not change my. words, or, if it did 


What then ? 


Will my avowal on yon rack 
Stand good in law ? 




The culprit be whom I accuse of treason ? 


Without doubt, he will be brought up to trial. 


And on this testimony would he perish ? 

BENINTENDE. , j •■.__ ^ 

So your confession be detaiPd and full, 
He will stand here in peril of his life. 


sc. r. DOGE OF VENICE. 133 


Then look well to thy proud self, President ! 
For by the eternity which yawns before me, 
I swear that tliou, and only thou, shalt be 
The traitor I denounce upon that rack. 
If I be stretchM there for the second time. 


Lord President, "'twere best proceed to judgment; 
There is no more to be drawn from these men. 


Unhappy men ! prepare for instant death. 
The nature of your crime — our law — ^and peril 
The state now stands in, leave not an hour'^s respite — 
Guards ! lead them forth, and upon the balcony 
Of the red columns, where, on festal Thursday (c), 
The Doge stands to behold the chase of bulls, 
Let them be justified : and leave exposed 
Their wavering relics, in the place of judgment. 
To the full view of the assembled people ! — 
And Heaven have mercy on their souls ! 


Amen ! 


Signors, farewell ! we shall not all again 
Meet in one place. 


And lest they should essay 
To stir up the distracted multitude — 
Guards ! let their mouths be gagg'd (7), even in the act 
Of execution. — Lead them hence ! 

134 MARINO FALIERO, act v. 


What ! must we 
Not even say farewell to some fond friend, 
Nor leave a last word with our confessor ? 


A priest is waiting in the ante-chamber ; 

But, for your friends, such interviews would be 

Painful to them, and useless all to you. 


I knew that we were gagg'd in hfe ; at least, 
All those who had not heart to risk their hves 
Upon their open thoughts ; but still I deem'^d 
That, in the last few moments, the same idle 
Freedom of speech accorded to the dying, 
Would not now be denied to us ; but since 


Even let them have their way, brave Calendaro 1 
What matter a few syllables ? let ""s die 
Without the slightest show of favour from them ; 
So shall our blood more readily arise 
To heaven against them, and more testify 
To their atrocities, than could a volume 
Spoken or written of our dying words ! 
They tremble at our voices — ^nay, they dread 
Our very silence — let them hve in fear ! — 
Leave them unto their thoughts, and let us now 
Address our own above ! — Lead on ; we are ready. 


Israel, hadst thou but hearkened unto me. 

sc. I. DOGE OF VENICE. 135 

It had not now been thus ; and yon pale villain. 
The coward Bertram, would 


Peace, Calendaro! 
What brooks it now to ponder upon this ? 


Alas ! I fain you died in peace with me : 
I did not seek this task ; 'twas forced upon me : 
Say, you forgive me, though I never can 
Retrieve my own forgiveness — frown not thus ! 


I die and pardon thee ! 

CALENDARO (spitting' at him). 

I die and scorn thee ! 
[Exeunt Israel Bertuccio and Philip Calen- 
daro, Gtuirds, <^c. 

Now that these criminals have been disposed of, 
'Tis time that we proceed to pass our sentence 
Upon the greatest traitor upon record 
In any annals, the Doge Faliero ! 
The proofs and process are complete ; the time 
And crime require a quick procedure : shall 
He now be called in to receive the award ? 
THE giunti. 

Ay, ay. 


Avogadori, order that the Doge 
Be brought before the council. 



And the rest, 
When shall they be brought up ? 


When all the chiefs 
Have been disposed of. Some have fled to Chiozza ; 
But there are thousands in pursuit of them, 
And such precaution ta'en on terra firma, 
As well as in the islands, that we hope 
None will escape to utter in strange lands 
His libellous tale of treasons 'gainst the senate. 

Enter the Doge as Prisoner^ with Guards, ^c. ^c. 


Doge — for such still you are, and by the law 

Must be considered, till the hour shall come 

When you must doff the ducal bonnet from 

That head, which could not wear a crown more noble 

Than empires can confer, in quiet honour, 

But it must plot to overthrow your peers, 

Who made you what you are, and quench in blood 

A city's glory — we have laid already 

Before you in your chamber at full length, 

By the Avogadori, all the proofs 

Which have appeared against you ; and more ample 

Ne'^er rear'd their sanguinary shadows to 

Confront a traitor. What have you to say 

In your defence ? 

sc. I. DOGE OF VENICE. 137 


What shall I say to ye, 
Since my defence must be your condemnation ? 
You are at once offenders and accusers, 
Judges and executioners ! — Proceed 
Upon your power. 


Your chief accomplices 
Having confess^, there is no hope for you. 

DOGE. - 

And who be they ? 


In number many ; but 
The first now stands before you in the court, 
Bertram, of Bergamo, — would you question him ? 

DOGE (looking' at him contemptiumsly). 


And two Others, Israel Bertuccio, 
And Phihp Calendaro, have admitted 
Their fellowship in treason with the Doge ! 


And where are they .? 


Gone to their place, and now 
Answering to Heaven for what they did on earth. 


Ah ! the plebeian Brutus, is he gone ? 
And the quick Cassius of the arsenal .'' — 
How did they meet their doom ? 



Think of your own ; 
It is approaching. You dedine to plead, then ? 


I cannot plead to my inferiors, nor 

Can recognise your legal power to try me : 

Show me the law ! 


On great emergencies, 
The law must be remodelPd or amended : 
Our fathers had not fixM the punishment 
Of such a crime, as on the old Roman tables 
The sentence against parricide was left 
In pure forgetfulness ; they could not render 
That penal, which had neither name nor thought 
In their great bosoms : who would have foreseen 
That nature could be filed to such a crime 
As sons 'gainst sires, and princes 'gainst their realms .'' 
Your sin hath made us make a law which will 
Become a precedent 'gainst such haught traitors, 
As would with treason mount to tyranny ; 
Not even contented with a sceptre, till 
They can convert it to a two-edged sword ! 
Was not the place of Doge sufficient for ye ? 
What 's nobler than the signory of Venice ? 


The signory of Venice ! You betray'd me — 
Ymi—you^ who sit there, traitors as ye are ! 
From my equality with you in birth, 

sc. I. DOGE OF VENICE. 139 

And my superiority in action, 

You drew me from my honourable toils 

In distant lands — on flood — in field — in cities — 

You singled me out like a victim to 

Stand crownM, but bound and helpless, at the altar 

Where you alone could minister. I knew not — 

I sought not — wisVd not — dreamM not the election, 

Which reach'*d me first at Rome, and I obey'd ; 

But found on my arrival, that, besides 

The jealous vigilance which always led you 

To mock and mar your sovereign's best intents, 

You had, even in the interregnum of 

My journey to the capital, curtailed 

And mutilated the few privileges 

Yet left the duke : all this I bore, and would 

Have borne, until my very hearth was stained 

By the pollution of your ribaldry. 

And he, the ribald, whom I see amongst you — 

Fit judge in such tribunal ! 

BENINTENDE (interrupting' him), 
Michel Steno 
Is here in virtue of his office, as 
One of the Forty ; " the Ten" having craved 
A Giunta of patricians from the senate 
To aid our judgment in a trial arduous 
And novel as the present : he was set 
Free from the penalty pronounced upon him. 
Because the Doge, who should protect the law. 
Seeking to abrogate all law, can claim 

140 MARINO FALIERO, act v. 

No punishment of others by the statutes 
Which he himself denies and violates ! 


His PUNISHMENT ! I rather see him there^ 
Where he now sits, to glut him with my death, 
Than in the mockery of castigation. 
Which your foul, outward, juggling show of justice 
Decreed as sentence ! Base as was his crime, 
""Twas purity compared with your protection. 


And can it be, that the great Doge of Venice, 
With three parts of a century of years 
And honours on his head, could thus allow 
His fury, like an angry boy"'s, to master 
All feeling, wisdom, faith, and fear, on such 
A provocation as a young man^^s petulance ? 


A spark creates the flame ; 'tis the last drop 
Which makes the cup run o'er, and mine was full 
Already : you oppressed the prince and people ; 
I would have freed both, and have failed in both : 
The price of such success would have been glory, 
Vengeance, and victory, and such a name 
As would have made Venetian history 
Rival to that of Greece and Syracuse 
When they were freed, and flourished ages after, 
And mine to Gelon and to Thrasybulus : — 
Failing, I know the penalty of failure 
Is present infamy and death — the future 

sc. 1. DOGE OF VENICE. 141 

Will judge, when Venice is no more, or free ; 
Till then, the truth is in abeyance. Pause not ; 
I would have shown no mercy, and I seek none ; 
My life was staked upon a mighty hazard, 
And being lost, take what I would have taken ! 
I would have stood alone amidst your tombs ; 
Now you may flock round mine, and trample on it, 
As you have done upon my heart while living. 


You do confess then, and admit the justice 
Of our tribunal ? 


I confess to have faiPd ; 
Fortune is female : from my youth her favours 
Were not withheld, the fault was mine to hojxj 
Her former smiles again at this late hour. 


You do not then in aught arraign our equity ? 


Noble Venetians ! stir me not with questions. 
I am resigned to the worst ; but in me still 
Have something of the blood of brighter days. 
And am not over-patient. Bray you, spare me 
Further interrogation, which boots nothing, 
Except to turn a trial to debate. 
I shall but answer that which will offend you, 
And please your enemies — a host already ; 
■^Tis true, these sullen walls should yield no echo : 

142 MARINO FALIERO, act v. 

But walls have ears — nay, more, they have tongues ; and if 

There were no other way for truth to o''erleap them, 

You who condemn me, you who fear and slay me, 

Yet could not bear in silence to your graves 

What you would hear from me of good or evil ; 

The secret were too mighty for your souls : 

Then let it sleep in mine, unless you court 

A danger which would dpuble that you escape. 

Such my defence would be, had I full scope 

To make it famous ; for true words are things. 

And dying men's are things which long outlive. 

And oftentimes avenge them ; bury mine. 

If ye would fain survive me : take this counsel, 

And though too oft ye made me live in wrath. 

Let me die calmly ; you may grant me this ; — 

I deny nothing — defend notliing — nothing 

I ask of you, but silence for myself, 

And sentence from the court ! 


This full admission 
Spares us the harsh necessity of ordering 
The torture to elicit the whole truth. 


The torture ! you have put me there already, 

Daily since I was Doge ; but if you will 

Add the corporeal rack, you may : these limbs 

WiU yield with age to crushing iron ; but 

There 's that within my heart shall strain your engines. 

sc. I. DOGE OF VENICE. 143 

Enter an Officer. 


Noble Venetians ! Duchess Faliero 
Requests admission to the Giunta's presence. 


Say, conscript fathers (^), shall she be admitted ? 


She may have revelations of importance 
Unto the state, to justify compliance 
With her request. 


Is this the general will ? 


It is. 


Oh, admirable laws of Venice ! 
Which would admit the wife, in the full hope 
That she might testify against the husband. 
What glory to the chaste Venetian dames ! 
But such blasphemers 'gainst all honour, as 
Sit here, do well to act in their vocation. 
Now, villain Steno ! if this woman fail, 
I '11 pardon thee thy lie, and thy escape. 
And my own violent death, and thy vile life. 

The Duchess enters. ^ 


Lady ! this just tribunal has resolved. 

144 MARINO FALIERO, act v. 

Though the request be strange, to grant it, and 
Whatever be its purport, to accord 
A patient hearing with the due respect 
Which fits your ancestry, your rank, and virtues : 
But you turn pale — ^ho ! there, look to the lady ! 
Place a chair instantly. 


A moment^s faintness — 
''Tis past ; I pray you pardon me, I sit not 
In presence of my prince, and of my husband. 
While he is on his feet. 


Your pleasure, lady ? 


Strange rumours, but most true, if all I hear 
And see be sooth, have reach''d me, and I come 
To know the worst, even at the worst ; forgive 
The abruptness of my entrance and my bearing. 

Is it 1 cannot speak — I cannot shape 

The question — ^but you answer it ere spoken, 
With eyes averted, and with gloomy brows — 
Oh God ! this is the silence of the grave ! 

BENINTENDE {after a pause). 
Spare us, and spare thyself the repetition 
Of our most awful, but inexorable 
Duty to heaven and man ! 


Yet speak ; I cannot — 
I cannot — no — even now believe these things. 
\%he condemned ? 

sc. I. DOGE OF VENICE. 145 




And was he guilty ? 


Lady ! the natural distraction of 

Thy thoughts at such a moment make the question 

Merit forgiveness ; else a doubt like this 

Against a just and paramount tribunal 

Were deep offence. But question even the Doge, 

And if he can deny the proofs, believe him 

Guiltless as thy own bosom. 


Is it so .'' 
My lord — my sovereign — my poor father's friend — 
The mighty in the field, the sage in council ; 
Unsay the words of this man i — Thou art silent ! 


He hath already own'd to his own guilt, 
Nor, as thou seest, doth he deny it now. 


Ay, but he must not die ! Spare his few years, 
Which grief and shame will soon cut down to days ' 
One day of bafBed crime must not efface 
Near sixteen lustres crowded with brave acts. 


His doom must be fulfilPd without remission 
Of time or penalty — ^tis a decree. 




He hath been guilty, but there may be mercy. 


Not in this case with justice. 


Alas ! signor, 
He who is only just is cruel ; who 
Upon the earth would live were all judged justly ? 


His punishment is safety to the state. 


He was a subject, and hath served the state ; 
He was your general, and hath saved the state ; 
He is your sovereign, and hath ruled the state. 


He is a traitor, and* betray''d the state. 


And, but for him, there now had been no state 
To save or to destroy ; and you who sit 
There to pronounce the death of your deliverer, 
Had now been groaning at a Moslem oar, 
Or digging in the Hunnish mines in fetters ! 


No, lady, there are others who would die 
Rather than breathe in slavery ! 


If there are so 
Within these walls, thmi art not of the number : 

sc. I. DOGE OF VENICE. 147 

The truly brave are generous to the fallen ! — 
Is tliere no hope ? 


Lady, it cannot be. 
ANGIOLINA (turning' to the doge). 
Then die, Faliero ! since it must be so ; 
But with the spirit of my father's friend. 
Thou hast been guilty of a great offence, 
Half-canceird by the harshness of these men. 
I would have sued to them — ^have pray'd to them — 
Have beggM as famish'd mendicants for bread — 
Have wept as they will cry unto their God 
For mercy, and be answered as they answer — 
Had it been fitting for thy name or mine. 
And if the cruelty in their cold eyes 
Had not announced the heartless wrath within. 
Then, as a prince, address thee to thy doom ! 


I have lived too long not to know how to die ! 

Thy suing to these men were but the bleating 

Of the lamb to the butcher, or the cry 

Of seamen to the surge : I would not take 

A life eternal, granted at the hands 

Of wretches, from whose monstrous villanies 

I sought to free the groaning nations ! 


A word with thee, and with this noble lady, 
Whom I have grievously offended. Would 

l2 - 


Sorrow, or shame, or penance on my part, 
Could cancel the inexorable past ! 
But since that cannot be, as Christians let us 
Say farewell, and in peace : with full contrition 
I crave, not pardon, but compassion from you. 
And give, however weak, my prayers for both, 


Sage Benintende, now chief judge of Venice, 

I speak to thee in answer to yon signor. 

Inform the ribald Steno, that his words 

Ne'er weighed in mind with Loredano's daughter 

Further than to create a moment's pity 

For such as he is : would that others had 

Despised him as I pity ! I prefer 

My honour to a thousand lives, could such 

Be multiphed in mine, but would not have 

A single life of others lost for that 

Which nothing human can impugn — the sense 

Of virtue, looking not to what is called 

A good name for reward, but to itself. 

To me the scorner's words were as the wind 

Unto the rock : but as there are — alas ! 

Spirits more sensitive, on which such things 

Light as the whirlwind on the waters ; souls 

To whom dishonour's shadow is a substance 

More terrible than death here and hereafter ; 

Men whose vice is to start at vice's scoffing. 

And who, though proof against all blandishments 

Of pleasure, and all pangs of pain, are feeble 

sc. I. DOGE OF VENICE. 149 

When the proud name on which they pinnacled 

Their hopes is breathed on, jealous as the eagle 

Of her high aiery ; let what we now 

Uehold, and feel, and suffer, be a lesson 

To wretches how they tamper in their spleen 

With beings of a higher order. Insects 

Have made the lion mad ere now ; a shaft 

I' the heel overthrew the bravest of the brave ; 

A wife'^s dishonour was the bane of Troy ; 

A wife's dishonour unking''d Rome for ever ; 

An injured husband brought the Gauls to Clusium, 

And thence to Rome, which perish'd for a time ; 

An obscene gesture cost Caligula 

His life, while Earth yet bore his cruelties ; 

A virgin'^s wrong made Spain a Moorish province ; 

And Steno's He, couch''d in two worthless lines, 

Hath decimated Venice, put in peril 

A senate which hath stood eight hundred years. 

Discrowned a prince, cut off" his crownless head. 

And forged new fetters for a groaning people ! 

Let the poor wretch, Hke to the courtesan 

Who fired Persepolis, be proud of this, 

If it so please him — ^'twere a pride fit for him ! 

But let him not insult the last hours of 

Him, who, whatever he now is, was a hero, 

By the intrusion of his very prayers ; 

Nothing of good can come from such a source. 

Nor would we aught with him, nor now, nor ever ; 

We leave him to himself, that lowest depth 


Of human baseness. Pardon is for men, 
And not for reptiles — we have none for Steno, 
And no resentment ; things hke him must sting. 
And higher beings suffer : 'tis the charter 
Of Hfe. The man who dies by the adder's fang 
May have the crawler crush'd, but feels no anger : 
'Twas the worm's nature ; and some men are worms 
In soul, more than the hving things of tombs. 


Signor ! complete that which you deem your duty. 


Before we can proceed upon that duty, 
We would request the princess to withdraw ; 
"Twill move her too much to be witness to it, 


I know it will, and yet I must endure it. 
For 'tis a part of mine — I will not quit, 
Except by force, my husband's side. — Proceed i 
Nay, fear not either shriek, or sigh, or tear ; 
Though my heart burst, it shall be silent. — Speak i 
I have that mthin which shall o'ermaster all. 


Marino Faliero, Doge of Venice, 

Count of Val di Marino, Senator, 

And some time General of the Fleet and Army, 

Noble Venetian, many times and oft 

Entrusted by the state with high employments, 

Even to the highest, listen to the sentence. 

Convict by many witnesses and proofs, 

sc. I. DOGE OP VENICE. 151 

And by thine own confession, of the guilt 

Of treachery and treason, yet unheard of 

Until this trial — the decree is deatli. 

Thy goods are confiscate unto the state. 

Thy name is razed from out her records, save 

Upon a public day of thanksgiving 

For this our most miraculous deliverance. 

When thou art noted in our calendars 

With earthquakes, pestilence, and foreign foes. 

And the great enemy of man, as subject 

Of grateful masses for Heaven's grace in snatching 

Our Uves and country from thy wickedness. 

The place wherein as Doge thou shouldst be painted. 

With thine illustrious predecessors, is 

To be left vacant, with a death-black veil 

Flung over these dim words engraved beneath, — 

" This place is of Marino Faliero, 

" Decapitated for his crimes."" 


What crimes ? 
Were it not better to record the facts, 
So that the contemplator might approve. 
Or at the least learn whence the crimes arose ? 
When the beholder knows a Doge conspired. 
Let him be told the cause — it is your history. 


Time must reply to that ; our sons will judge 
Their fathers'* judgment, which I now pronounce. 
As Doge, clad in the ducal robes and cap. 

152 MARINO FALIERO, act v. 

Thou shalt be led hence to the Giant's Staircase, 

Where thou and all our princes are invested ; 

And there, the ducal crown being first resumed 

Upon the spot where it was first assumed. 

Thy head shall be struck off; and Heaven have mercy 

Upon my soul ! 


Is this the Giunta's sentence ? 


It is, 


I can endure it. — And the time ? 


Must be immediate. — Make thy peace with God ; 
Within an hour thou must be in his presence. 


I am already ; and my blood will rise 
To Heaven before the souls of those who shed it- 
Are all my lands confiscated ? 


They are ; 
And goods, and jewels, and all kind of treasure, 
Except two thousand ducats — these dispose of. 


That's harsh, — I would have fain reserved the lands 
Near to Treviso, which I hold by investment 
From Laurence the Count-bishop of Ceneda, 
In fief perpetual to myself and heirs, 
To portion them (leaving my city spoil, 

sc. I. DOGE OF VENICE. 153 

My palace and my treasures, to your forfeit) 
Between my consort and my kinsmen. 


Lie under the state's ban ; their chief, thy nephew. 
In peril of his own life ; but the council 
Postpones his trial for the present. If 
Thou wilFst a state unto thy widowed princess, 
Fear not, for we will do her justice. 


I share not in your spoil ! From henceforth, know 
I am devoted unto God alone. 
And take my refuge in the cloister. 


The hour may be a hard one, but 'twill end. 
Have I aught else to undergo save death ? 


You have nought to do, except confess and die. 
The priest is robed, the scimitar is bare, 
And both await without. — But, above all. 
Think not to speak unto the people ; they 
Are now by thousands swarming at the gates, 
But these are closed : the Ten, the Avogadori, 
The Giunta, and the chief men of the Forty, 
Alone will be beholders of thy doom. 
And they are ready to attend the Doge. 

154 MARINO FALIERO, act v. 


The Doge ! 


Yes, Doge, thou hast lived and thou shalt die 

A sovereign ; till the moment which precedes 

The separation* of that head and trunk. 

That ducal crown and head shall be united. 

Thou hast forgot thy dignity in deigning 

To plot with petty traitors ; not so we. 

Who in the very punishment acknowledge 

The prince. Thy vile accompUces have died 

The dog's death, and the wolTs ; but thou shalt fall 

As falls the lion by the hunters, girt 

By those who feel a proud compassion for thee. 

And mourn even the inevitable death 

Provoked by thy wild wrath, and regal fierceness. 

Now we remit thee to thy preparation : 

Let it be brief, and we ourselves will be 

Thy guides unto the place where first we were 

United to thee as thy subjects, and 

Thy senate ; and must now be parted from thee 

As such for ever, on the self-same spot. — 

Guards ! form the Doge's escort to his chamber. 


sc. II. DOGE OF VENICE. 155 


The Doge's Apartment, 
The Doge as prisoner^ and tlie Duchess attending him. 


Now that the priest is gone, 't were useless all 

To linger out the miserable minutes ; 

But one pang more, the pang of parting from thee, 

And I will leave the few last grains of sand, 

Which yet remain of the accorded hour, 

Still falling — I have done with Time. 


And I have been the cause, the unconscious (iause ; 
And for this funeral marriage, this black union, 
Which thou, compliant with my father's wish. 
Didst promise at his death, thou hast seal'^d tliine own. 

DOGE. ,^ 

Not so : there was that in my spirit ever 
Which shaped out for itself some great reverse ; 
The marvel is, it came not until now — 
And yet it was foretold me. 

156 MARINO FALIERO, act v. 


How foretold you ? 


Long years ago — so long, they are a doubt 

In memory, and yet they live in annals : 

When I was in my youth, and served the senate 

And signory as podesta and captain 

Of the town of Treviso, on a day 

Of festival, the sluggish bishop who 

Conveyed the Host aroused my rash young anger, 

By strange delay, and arrogant reply 

To my reproof; I raised my hand and smote him. 

Until he reePd beneath his holy burthen ; 

And as he rose from earth again, he raised 

His tremulous hands in pious wrath towards Heaven. 

Thence pointing to the Host, which had fallen from him, 

He turn'd to me, and said, " The hour will come 

" When he thou hast overthrown shall overthrow thee : 

" The glory shall depart from out thy house, 

" The wisdom shall be shaken from thy soul, 

" And in thy best maturity of mind 

" A madness of the heart shall seize upon thee ; 

" Passion shall tear thee when all passions cease 

" In other men, or mellow into virtues ; 

" And majesty, which decks all other heads, 

" Shall crown to leave thee headless ; honours shall 

" But prove to thee the heralds of destruction, 

" And hoary hairs of shame, and both of death, 

SC. 11. DOGE OF VENICE. 157 

" But not such death as fits an aged man.'^ 
Thus saying, he pass''d on. — That hour is come. 


And with this warning couldst thou not have striven 

To avert the fatal moment, and atone 

By penitence for that which thou hadst done ? 


I own the words went to my heart, so much 

That I remembered them amid the maze 

Of hfe, as if they form'd a spectral voice. 

Which shook me in a supernatural dream ; 

And I repented ; but 'twas not for me 

To pull in resolution : what must be 

I could not change, and would not fear. — Nay more. 

Thou canst not have forgot, what all remember, 

That on my day of landing here as Doge, 

On my return from Rome, a mist of such 

Unwonted density went on before 

The bucentaur like the columnar cloud 

Which usher'd Israel out of Egypt, till 

The pilot was misled, and disembarked us 

Between the Pillars of Saint Mark's, where 'tis- 

The custom of the state to put to death 

Its criminals, instead of touching at 

The Riva della Paglia, as the wont is, — 

So that all Venice shuddered at the omen. 


Ah ! Uttle boots it now to recollect 
Such things. 

158 ^ MARINO FALIERO, act v. 


And yet I find a comfort in 
The thought that these things are the work of Fate ; 
For I would rather yield to gods than men, 
Or cling to any creed of destiny, 
Rather than deem these mortals, most of whom 
I know to be as worthless as the dust. 
And weak as worthless, more than instruments 
Of an o'er-ruling power ; they ill themselves 
Were all incapable — they could not be 
Victors of him who oft had conquer^ for them ! 


Employ the minutes left in aspirations 

Of a more healing nature, and in peace 

Even with these wretches take thy flight to Heaven. 


I am at peace : the peace of certainty 

That a sure hour will come, when their sons'* sons. 

And this proud city, and these azure waters. 

And all which m^kes them eminent and bright. 

Shall be a desolation, and a curse, 

A hissing and a scoff unto the nations, 

A Carthage, and a Tyre, an Ocean-Babel ! 


Speak not thus now ; the surge of passion still 
Sweeps o'er thee to the last ; thou dost deceive 
Thyself, and canst not injure them — be calmer. 


I stand within eternity, and see 

sc. II. DOGE OF VENICE. 159 

Into eternity, and I behold — 

Ay, palpable as I see thy sweet face 

For the last time — the days which I denounce 

Unto all time against these wave-girt walls, 

And they who are indwellers. 

GUARD (coming Jbrward). 

Doge of Venice, 
The Ten are in attendance on your highness. 


Then farewell, Angiolina ! — one embrace — 

Forgive the old man who hath been to thee 

A fond but fatal husband — love my memory — 

I would not ask so much for me still hving. 

But thou canst judge of me more kindly now. 

Seeing my evil feelings are at rest. 

Besides, of all the fruit of these long years. 

Glory, and wealth, and power, and fame, and name. 

Which generally leave some flowers to bloom 

Even o'er the grave, I have nothing left, not even 

A little love, or friendship, or esteem. 

No, not enough to extract an epitaph 

From ostentatious kinsmen ; in one hour 

I have uprooted all my former life, 

And outlived every thing, except thy heart. 

The pure, the good, the gentle, which will oft 

With unimpaired but not a clamorous grief 

Still keep Thou tum'st so pale — Alas ! she faints. 

She has no breath, no pulse ! — Guards ! lend your aid — 
I cannot leave her thus, and yet "'tis better. 


Since every lifeless moment spares a pang. 
When she shakes off this temporary death, 
I shall be with the Eternal. — Call her women — 
One look ! — how cold her hand ! as cold as mine 
Shall be ere she recovers. — Gently tend her, 

And take my last thanks. 1 am ready now. 

[The Attendants of A^gioi^i^ a enter and surround 

their mistress, who has fainted, — Exeunt the 

Doge, Guards, <Sfc. Sfc. 


The Court of the Ducal Palace: the outer gates are shut 
against the people. — The Doge enters in his ducal 
robes, in procession with the Council of Ten and other 
Patricians, attended by the Guards till they arrive at 
the top of the *' Giant* s Staircase,'''' {where the Doges 
took the oaths) ; the Executioner is stationed there with 
his sword. — On arriving, a Chief of the Ten takes off 
the ducal cap from the Doge's head, » 


So now the Doge is nothing, and at last 

I am again Marino Faliero : 

'Tis well to be so, though but for a moment. 


Here was I crown''d, and here, bear witness, Heaven ! 
With how much more contentment 1 resign 
That shining mockery, the ducal bauble. 
Than I received the fatal ornament. 


Thou tremblesf, Faliero f 


'Tis with age, then (9). 


Faliero ! hast thou aught further to commend, 
Compatible with justice, to the senate ? 


I would commend my nephew to their mercy. 
My consort to their justice ; for methinks 
My death, and such a death, might settle all 
Between the state and me. 


They shall be cared for ; 
Even notwithstanding thine unheard-of crime. 


Unheard-of ! ay, there 's not a history 
But shows a thousand crown''d conspirators 
Against the people ; but to set them free 
One sovereign only died, and one is dying. 


And who were they who fell in such a cause ? 


The King of Sparta, and the Doge of Venice — 
Agis and Faliero ! 

162 MARINO FALIERO, act v. 


Hast thou more 
To utter or to do ? 

» DOGE. 

May I speak ? 


Thou may'*st ; 
But recollect the people are without, 
Beyond the compass of the human voice. 


I speak to Time and to Eternity, 

Of which I grow a portion, not to man. 

Ye elements ! in which to be resolved 

I hasten, let my voice be as a spirit 

Upon you ! Ye blue waves ! which bore my banner. 

Ye winds ! which fluttered o"'er as if you loved it. 

And filled my swelling sails as they were wafted 

To many a triumph ! Thou, my native eardi, 

Which I have bled for, and thou foreign earth. 

Which drank this willing blood from many a wound ! 

Ye stones, in which my gore will not sink, but 

Reek up to Heaven ! Ye skies, which will receive it ! 

Thou sun ! which shinest on these things, and Thou ! 

Who kindlest and who quenchest suns ! — Attest ! 

I am not innocent — ^but are these guiltless ? 

I perish, but not unavenged ; far ages 

Float up from the abyss of time to be. 

And show these eyes, before they close, the doom 

Of this proud city, and I leave my curse 

sc. nr. DOGE OF VENICE. 16S 

On her and hers for ever ! Yes, the hours 

Are silently engendering of the day, 

When she, who built 'gainst Attila a bulwark, 

Shall yield, and bloodlessly and basely yield 

Unto a bastard Attila, without 

Shedding so much blood in her last defence 

As these old veins, oft drain'd in shielding her. 

Shall pour in sacrifice. — She shall be bought 

And sold, and be an appanage to those 

Who shall despise her ! — She shall stoop to be 

A province for an empire, petty town 

In lieu of capital, with slaves for senates. 

Beggars for nobles, pandars for a people (lo) .' 

Then when the Hebrew's in thy palaces(n), 

The Hun in thy high places, and the Greek 

Walks o'er thy mart, and smiles on it for his ! 

When thy patricians beg their bitter bread 

In narrow streets, and in their shameful need 

Make their nobility a plea for pity ! 

Then, when the few who still retain a wreck 

Of their great fathers' heritage shall fawn 

Round a barbarian Vice of Kings' Vice-gerent, 

Even in the palace where they sway'd as sovereigns, 

Even in the palace where they slew their sovereign. 

Proud of some name they have disgraced, or sprung 

From an adulteress boastful of her guilt 

With some large gondolier or foreign soldier. 

Shall bear about their bastardy in triumph 

To the third spurious generation ; — when 



Thy sons are in the lowest scale of being, 

Slaves turn'd o'er to the vanquished by the victors, 

Despised by cowards for greater cowardice, 

And scorn'd even by the vicious for such vices 

As in the monstrous grasp of their conception 

Defy all codes to image or to name them ; 

Then, when of Cyprus, now thy subject kingdom, 

All thine inheritance shall be her shame 

Entaird on thy less virtuous daughters, grown 

A wider proverb for worse prostitution ; — 

When all the ills of conquer''d states shall cling thee, 

Vice without splendour, sin without relief 

Even from the gloss of love to smooth it o'^er. 

But in its stead coarse lusts of habitude. 

Prurient yet passionless, cold studied lewdness. 

Depraving nature'*s frailty to an art ; — 

When these and more are heavy on thee, when 

Smiles without mirth, and pastimes without pleasure, 

Youth without honour, age without respect. 

Meanness and weakness, and a sense of woe 

'Gainst which thou wilt not strive, and dar'st not murmur. 

Have made thee last and worst of peopled deserts. 

Then, in the last gasp of thine agony, 

Amidst thy many murders, think of mine ! 

Thou den of drunkards with the blood of princes (12) » 

Gehenna of the waters ! thou sea Sodom ! 

Thus I devote thee to the infernal gods ! 

Thee and thy serpent seed ! 

[Here the Doge turnSy and addresses the Executimier, 

sc. IV. DOGE OF VENICE. 165 

Slave, do thine office ! 
Strike as I struck the foe ! Strike as I would 
Have struck those tyrants ! Strike deep as my curse ' 
Strike — and but once ! 

[The Doge throws himself upon his knees, and as the 
Executioner raises his sword the scene closes. 


The Piazza and Piazzetta of Saint Marias, — Tlie People 
in crozcds gathered rouTid the grated gates qftlie Ducal 
Palace, which are shut. 


I have gain'd the gate, and can discern the Ten, 
Robed in their gowns of state, ranged round the Doge. 

second CITIZEN. 

I cannot reach thee with mine utmost effort. 
How is it ? let us hear at least, since sight 
Is thus prohibited unto the people. 
Except the occupiers of those bars. 


One has approached the Doge, and now they strip 
The ducal bonnet from his head — and now 

166 MARINO FALIERO, act v. 

He raises his keen eyes to Heaven ; I see 

Them glitter, and his lips move — Hush ! hush ! — no, 

'Twas but a murmur — Curse upon the distance ! 

His words are inarticulate, but the voice 

Swells up hke mutter'd thunder ; would we could 

But gather a sole sehtence ! 


Hush ! we perhaps may catch the sound. 


'Tis vain, 
I cannot hear him. — How his hoary hair 
Streams on the mnd like foam upon the wave ! 
Now — ^now — ^he kneels — and now they form a circle 
Round him, and all is hidden — ^but I see 

The lifted sword in air Ah ! Hark ! it falls ! 

[ The People murmur. 


Then they have murder'd him who would have freed us. 


He was a kind man to the commons ever. 


Wisely they did to keep their portals barr**d. 
Would we had known the work they were preparing 
Ere we were summoned here, we would have brought 
Weapons, and forced them ! 


Are you sure he 's dead ? 


I saw the sword fall — Lo ! what have we here ? 

sc. IV. DOGE OF VENICE. 167 

Enter on the Bakwiy of the Palace which fronts Saint 
Mark^s Place^ a Chief of the Ten (is), with a bloody 
sword He waves it thrice before the People^ and ex^ 

" Justice hath dealt upon the mighty Traitor I'' 

[ The gates are opened ; the populace rush in towards 
the " Gianfs Staircase,^'' where the execution has 
taken place. The Jbremost of them exclaims to 
tJiose behind, 

The gory head rolls down the " Giant's Steps !'' 

[ The curtain Jails, 


Note 1, page 21, line 15. 
/ smote the tardy bishop at Treviso. 
An historical fact. See Marin Sanuto's Lives of the 

Note 2, page 34, line 23. 
j4 gondola with one oar only. 
A gondola is not like a common boat, but is as easily 
rowed with one oar as with two (though of course not so 
swiftly), and often is so from motives of privacy ; and (since 
the decay of Venice) of economy. 

Note 3, page 74, lines 12 and 13. 

They think themselves 
Engaged in secret to the Signory. 
An historical fact. 

Note 4, page 113, line 10. 
Within our palace precincts at San Polo. 
The Doge's private family palace. 

170 NOTES. 

Note 5, page 121, line 10. 
« Signor of the Night:' 
" I Signori di Notte " held an important charge in the 
old Republic. 

Note 6, page 133, line 15. 
Festal Thursday, 
" Giovedi Grasso,' ''fat or greasy Thursday," which I 
cannot literally translate in the text, was the day. 

Note 7, page 133, line 29. 
Guards ! let their mouths be gagg*d, even in the act. 
Historical fact. See Sanuto, in the Appendix to this 

Note 8, page 143, line 6. 
Say, conscript fathers f shall she be admitted? 
The Venetian senate took the same title as the Roman^ 
of " Conscript Fathers." 

Note 9, page 161, line 8. 
' Tis with agCf then. 
This was the actual reply of Bailli, maire of Paris, to a 
Frenchman who made him the same reproach on his way 
to execution, in the earliest part of their revolution. I 
find in reading over (since the completion of this tragedy), 
for the first time these six years, " Venice Preserved," a 
similar reply on a different occasion by Renault, and other 
coincidences arising from the subject. I need hardly re- 
mind the gentlest reader, that such coincidences must be 
accidental, from the very facility of their detection by 
reference to so popular a play on the stage and in the 
closet as Otway's chef d'ceuvre. 

xXOTEs. ni 

Note 10, page 163, line 13. 
Beggars Jbr nobles, pandarsjbr a people ! 
Should the dramatic picture seem harsh, let the reader 
look to the historical, of the period prophesied, or rather 
of the few years preceding that period. Voltaire calcu- 
lated their "nostre bene merite Meretrici '* at 12,000 of 
regulars, without including volunteers and local militia, on 
what authority I know not ; but it is perhaps the only part 
of the population not decreased. Venice once contained 
200,000 inhabitants, there are now about 90,000, and 
THESE ! ! few individuals can conceive, and none could 
describe the actual state into which the more than infernal 
tyranny of Austria has plunged this unhappy city. 

Note 11, page 163, line 14. 
Then token the Hebrew 's in thy palaces. 
The chief palaces on the Brenta now belong to the 
Jews ; who in the earlier times of the republic were only 
allowed to inhabit Mestri, and not to enter the city of 
Venice. The whole commerce is in the hands of the 
Jews and Greeks, and the Huns form the garrison. 

Note 12, page 164, line 25. 
Thou den of drunkards tvith the blood of princes! 
Of the first fifty Doges, ^ve abdicated— ^/^ve were ba- 
nished with their eyes put out-^ue were massacred — 
and nine deposed ; so that nineteen out of fifty lost the 
throne by violence, besides two who fell in battle : this 
occurred long previous to the reign of Marino Faliero. 
One of his more immediate predecessors, Andrea Dan- 
dolo, died of vexation. Marino Faliero himself perished 

172 NOTES. 

as related. Amongst his successors, Foscari, after seeing 
his son repeatedly tortured and banished, was deposed, 
and died of breaking a blood-vessel, on hearing the bell 
of Saint Mark's toll for the election of his successor. 
Morosini was impeached for the loss of Candia ; but this 
was previous to his dukedom, during which he conquered 
the Morea, and was styled the Peloponnesian. Faliero 
might truly say, 
** Thou den of drunkards with the blood of princes !" 

Note 13, page 167, line SJ. 
Chief of the Ten. 
<* Un Capo de Dieci" are the words of Sanuto's Chronicle. 




" Fu eletto da' quarantuno Elettori, il quale era Cavaliere e 
conte di Valdemarino in Trivigiana, ed era ricco, e si trovava 
Ambasciadore a Roma. E a di 9. di Settembre, dopo sepolto 
il suo predecessore, fu chiamato il gran Consiglio, e fu preso 
di fare il Doge giusta il solito. E furono fatti i cinque Cor- 
rettori, Ser Bernardo Giustiniani Procuratore, Ser Paolo Lo- 
redano, Ser Filippo Aurio, Ser Pietro Trivisano, e Ser Tom- 
maso Viadro. I quali a di 10. misero queste correzioni alia 
promessione del Doge : che i Consiglieri non odano gli Ora- 
tori e Nunzi de' Signori, senza i Capi de' quaranta, nh 
possano rispondere ad alcuno, se non saranno quattro Con- 
siglieri e due Capi de' Quaranta. E che osservino la forma 
del suo Capitolare. E che Messer lo Doge si metta nella 
miglior parte, quando i Giudici tra loro non fossero d'accordo. 
£ eh' egli non possa far vendere i suoi imprestiti, salvo con 
legitima causa, e col voler di cinque Consiglieri^ di due Capi 
de' Quaranta, e delle due parti del Consiglio de' Pregati. 
Iteniy che in luogo di ire mila pelli di Conigli, che debbon 
dare i Zaratini per regalia al Doge, non trovandosi tante 
pelli, gli diano Ducati ottanta I'anno. E poi a di 11. detto, 
misero etiam altre correzioni, che se il Doge, che sara eletto, 
fusse fuori di Venezia, i Savj possono provvedere del suo 
ritorno. E quando fosse il Doge ammalato, sia Vicedoge 
uno de' Consigliere, da esserc eletto tra loro. E che il detto 


sia nominato Viceluogotenente di Messer lo Doge, quando 
i Giudici faranno i suoi atti. E nota, perche fu'fatto Doge 
uno, ch'era assente, che fu Vicedoge Ser Marino Badoero 
piu vecchio de' Consiglieri. Item, che'l governo del Ducato 
sia commesso a' Consiglieri, e a' Capi de' Quaranta, quando 
vachera il Ducato, finchd sara eletto 1' altro Doge. E cosi 
a di 11 . di Settembre fu creato il prefato Marino Faliero 
Doge. E fu preso, che il governo del Ducato sia commesso 
a' Consiglieri e a' Capi di Quaranta. I quali stiano in Pa- 
lazzo di continuo, fino che verra il Doge. Sicche di continuo 
stiano in Palazzo due Consiglieri e un Capo de' Quaranta. 
E subito furono spedite lettere al detto Doge, il quale era a 
Roma Oratore al Legato di Papa Innocenzo VI. ch'era in 
Avignone. Fu preso nel gran Consiglio d'eleggere dodici 
Ambasciadori incontro a Marino Faliero Doge il quale veniva 
da Roma. E giunto a Chioggia, il Podesta mand6 Taddeo 
Giustiniani suo figliuolo incontro, con quindici Ganzaruoli. 
E poi venuto a S. Clemente nel Bucintoro, venne un gran 
caligo, adeo che il Bucintoro non si pote levare. Laonde il 
Doge CO' Gentiluomini nelle piatte vennero di lungo in questa 
Terra a' 5. d'Ottobre del 1354. E dovendo smontare alia 
riva della Paglia per lo caligo andarono ad ismontare alia 
riva della Piazza in mezzo alle due Colonne dove si fa la 
Giustizia, che fu un malissimo augurio. E a' 6. la mattina 
venne alia Chiesa di San Marco alia Jaudazione di quello. 
Era in questo tempo Cancellier Grande Messer Benintende. 
I quarantuno Elettori furono, Ser Giovanni Contarini, Ser 
Andrea Giustiniani, Ser Michele Morosini, Ser Simone Dan- 
dolo, Ser Pietro Lando, Ser Marino Gradenigo, Ser Marco 
Dolfino, Ser Nicolo Faliero, Ser Giovanni Quirini, Ser Lo- 
renzo Soranzo, Ser Marco Bembo, Sere Stefano Belegno, 
Ser Francesco Loredano, Ser Marino Veniero, Ser Giovanni 
Mocenigo, Ser Andrea Barbaro, Ser Lorenzo Barbarigo, Ser 
Bettino da Molino, Ser' Andrea Erizzo Procuratore, Ser 
^larco Celsi, Ser Paolo Donato, Ser Bertucci Grimani, Ser 
Pietro Steno, Ser Luca Duodo, Ser' Andrea Pisani, Ser 


Francesco Caravello, Ser Jacopo Trivisano, Sere Schiavo 
Marcello, Ser MafFeo Aimo, Ser Marco Capello, Ser Pan- 
crazio Giorgio, Ser Giovanni Foscarini, Ser Tommaso Viadro, 
Sere Schiava Polani, Ser Marco Polo, Ser Marino Sagredo, 
Sere Stefano Mariani, Ser Francesco Suriano, Ser Orio Pas- 
qualigo, Ser' Andrea Gritti, Ser Buono da Mosto. 
* * * * 

'* Trattato di Messer Marino Faliero Doge, tratto da una 
Cronica antica. Essendo venuto 11 Giovedi della Caccia, fu 
fatta giusta il solito la Caccia. E a' que' tempi dopo fatta 
la Caccia s' andava in Palazzo del Doge in una di quelle 
Sale, e con donne facevasi una festicciuola, dove si ballava 
fino alia prima Campana, e veniva una Colazione ; la quale 
spesa faceva Messer lo Doge, quando v' era la Dogaressa. 
E poscia tutti andavano a casa sua. Sopra la qual festa, 
pare, che Ser Michele Steno, molto giovane e povero Gen- 
tiluomo, ma ardito e astuto, il qual' era innamorato in certa 
donzella della Dogaressa, essendo sul Solajo appresso le 
Donne, facesse cert' atto non conveniente, adeo che il Doge 
comando ch'e' fosse buttato giu dal Solajo. E cosi quegli 
Scudieri del Doge lo spinsero giu di quel Solajo. Laonde a 
Ser Michele parve, che fossegli stata fatta troppo grande 
ignominia. E non considerando altramente il fine, ma sopra 
quella passione fornita la Festa, e andati tutti via, quella 
notte egli ando, e sulla cadrega, dove sedeva il Doge nella 
Sala deir Udienza (perche allora i Dogi non tenevano panno 
di seta sopra la cadrega, ma sedevano in una cadrega di 
legno) scrisse alcune parole disoneste del Doge e della Do- 
garessa, cioe: Marin Faliero daUa bella moglie : Altri la 
gode, ed egli la mantien. E la mattina furono vedute tali 
parole scritte. E parve una brutta cosa. E per la Signoria 
fu commessa la cosa agli Avvogadori del Comune con grande 
efficacia. I qual Avvogadori subito diedero taglia grande 
per venire in chiaro della verita di chi avea scritto tal lettera. 
E tandem si seppe, che Michele Steno aveale scritte. E fu 



per la Quarantia preso di ritenerlo ; e ritenuto confesso, die 
in quella passione d' essere stato spinto giu dal Solajo, pre- 
sente la sua amante^ egli aveale scritte. Onde poi fu pla- 
citato nel detto Consiglio, e parve al Consiglio si per rispetto 
air eta, come per la caldezza d'amore, di condannarlo a 
compiere due mesi in prigione serrato, e poi oh' e' fusse ban- 
dito di Venezia e dal distretto per un anno. Per la qual 
condennagione tanto piccola il Doge ne prese grande sdegno, 
parendogli che non fosse stata fatta quella estimazione della 
cosa, che ricercava la sua dignita del Ducato. E diceva, ch' 
eglino doveano averlo fatto appiccare per la gola, o saltern 
bandirlo in perpetuo da Venezia. E perch^ (quando dee 
succedere un' effetto e necessario che vi concorra la ca- 
gione a fare tal' effetto) era destinato, che a Messer Marino 
Doge fosse tagliata la testa, perci6 occorse, che entrata la 
Quaresima il giorno dopo che fu condannato il detto Ser 
Michele Steno, un Gentiluomo da Ca Barbaro, di natura 
colerico, andasse all' Arsenale, domandasse certe cose ai 
Padroni, ed era alia presenza de' Signori I'Amiraglio dell' 
Arsenale. II quale intesa la domanda, disse, che non si poteva 
fare. Quel Gentiluomo venne a parole coll' Amiraglio, e 
diedegli un pugno su un'occhio. E perche avea un'anello 
in deto, coll' anello gli ruppe la pelle, e fece sangue. E 
TAmiragHo cosi battuto e insanguinato ando al Doge a la- 
mentarsi, acciocche il Doge facesse fare gran punizione 
contra il detto da Ca Barbar5. II Dpge disse : Che vuoi che ti 

Jacciaf Guarda le ignommiose parole scritte di me,e il modo 
cK^ stato punito quel ribaldo di Michele Steno, che le scrisse. 
E quale stima hanno i Quaranta Jatto della persona nostra. 
Laonde I'Amiraglio gli disse : Messer lo Doge, se voi volet e 

faroi Signore, e fare tagliare tutti questi becchi Gentiluomini 
a pezzif mi hasta Vanimo, dandomi voi ajuto, di farvi Signore 
di questa Terra. E allora voi pntrete casligare tutti costoro. 
Intese queste, il Doge disse, Come si puojare una simile 
cosa ? E cosi entrarono in ragionamento. 


" II Doge mando a chiamare Ser Bertucci Faliero suo ni- 
pote, il quale stava con lui in Palazzo, & entrarono in questa 
niachinazione. Ne si partirono di li, che maudarono per 
Filippo Calendar©, uomo maritirao e di gran seguito, e per 
Bertucci Israello, ingegnere e uomo astutissimo. E consi- 
gliatisi insieme diede ordine di chiamare alcuni altri. E cosi 
per alcuni giorni la notte si riducevano insieme in Palazzo in 
casa del Doge. E chiamarono a parte a parte altri, videlicet 
Niccol6Fagiuolo,Giovanni da Corfu, StefanoFagiano,Niccold 
dalle Bende, Niccolo Biondo, e Stefano Trivisano. E ordino 
di faresedici o diciasette Capi in diversi luoghi della Terra, i 
quali avessero cadaun di loro quaranf uomini provvigionati 
preparati, non dicendo a' detti suoi quaranta quello, che vo- 
lessero fare. Ma che il giorno stabilito si mostrasse di far quis- 
tione tra loro in diversi luoghi, accioche il Doge facesse sonare 
a San Marco le Campane, le quali non si possono suonare, s' 
€gh nol comanda. E al suono delle Campane questi sedici o 
diciasette co' suoi uomini venissero a San Marco alle strade, 
che buttano in Piazza. E cosi i nobili e primarj Cittadini, 
che venissero in Piazza, per sapere del romore cid ch'era, 
li tagliassero a pezzi. E seguito questo, che fosse chiamato 
per Signore Messer Marino Faliero Doge. E fermate le cose 
tra loro, stabilito fu, che questo dovess' essere a' 15. d'Aprile 
del 1355. in giorno di Mercoledi. La quale machinazione 
trattata fu tra loro tanto segretaraente, che mai ne pure se 
ne sospetto, non che se ne sapesse cos' alcuna. Ma il Signor' 
Iddio, che ha sempre ajutato questa gloriosissima Citta, e 
che per le santimonie e giustizie sue mai non I'ha abban- 
donata, ispiro a un Beltramo Bergamasco, il quale fu messo 
Capo di quaranf uomini per uno de' detti congiurati (il quale 
intese qualche parola, sicche comprese V effetto, che doveva 
succedere, e il qual era di casa di Ser Niccolo Lioni de 
Santo Stefano) di andare a di . . . . . d'Aprile a Casa del 
detto Ser Niccolo Lioni. E gli disse ogni cosa dell' ordin 
dato. II quale intese le cose, rimase come morto ; e intese 

N 2 


molte particolarita, il detto Beltramo il prego che lo tenesse 
segreto, e glielo disse, acciocche il detto Ser Niccolo non 
si partisse di casa a di 15. accioche egli non fosse morto. 
Et egli volendo partirsi, il fece ritenere a' suoi di casa, e 
serrarlo in una camera. Et esso ando a casa di M. Giovanni 
Gradenigo Nasone, il quale fu poi Doge, che stava anch' 
egli a Santo Stefano ; e dissegli la cosa. La quale paren- 
dogli, com'era, d'una grandissima importanza, tutti e due 
andarono a casa di Ser Marco Cornaro, che stava a San Fe- 
lice. E dettogli il tutto, tutti e tre deliberarono di venire a 
casa del detto Ser Niccolo Lioni, ed esaminare il detto Bel- 
tramo. E quello esaminato, intese le cose, il fecero stare 
serrato. E andarono tutti e tre a San Salvatore in Sacristia, 
e mandarono i loro famigli a chiamare i Consiglieri, gli Av- 
vogadori, i Capi de' Dieci, e que' del Consiglio. E ridotti 
insieme dissero loro le cose. I quali rimasero morti. E de- 
liberarono di mandare pel detto Beltramo, e fattolo venire 
cautamente, ed esaminatolo, e verificate le cose, ancorche ne 
sentissero gran passlone, pure pensarono la provisione. E 
mandarono pe' Capi de' Quaranta, pe' Signori di notte, pe' 
Capi de' Sestieri, e pe' Cinque della Pace. E ordinato, ch' 
eglino co' loro uomini trovassero degli altri buoni uomini, e 
mandassero a casa de* Capi de' congiurati, ut supra met- 
tessero loro le mani addosso. E tolsero i detti le Maestrerie 
dell' Arsenale, acciocche i provvisionati de' congiurati non 
potessero ofFenderli. E si ridussero in Palazzo verso la sera. 
Dove ridotti fecero serrare le porte della corte del Palazzo. 
E mandarono a ordinare al Campanaro, che non sonasse le 
Campane. E cosi fu eseguito, e messe le mani addosso a 
tutti i nominati di ^opra, furono que' condotti al Palazzo. 
E vedendo il Consiglio de' Dieci, che il Doge era nella 
cospirazione, presero di eleggere venti de' primarj della 
Terra, di giunta al detto Consiglio a consigliare, non pero 
che potessero mettere pallotta. 

" I Consiglieri furono questi : Ser Giovanni Mocenigo del 


Sestiero di San Marco; Ser Almorg Veniero da Santa Ma- 
rina del Sestiero di Castello ; Ser Tomnmso Viadro del Se- 
stiero di Caneregio ; Ser Giovanni Sanudo del Sestiero di 
Santa Croce; Ser Pietro Trivisano del Sestiero di San Paolo; 
Ser Pantalione Barbo il Grando del Sestiero d' Ossoduro. 
Gli Avogadori del Comune furono Ser Zufredo Morosini, e 
Ser Orio Pasqualigo, e questi non ballottarono. Que' del 
Consiglio de' Dieci; furono Ser Giovanni Marcello, Ser 
Tommaso Sanudo, e Ser Michelento Dolfino, Capi del detto 
Consiglio de' Dieci ; Ser Luca da Legge, e Ser Pietro da 
Mosto, Inquisitori del detto Consiglio; Ser Marco Polani, 
Ser Marino Veniero, Ser Lando Lombardo, Ser Nicoletto 
Trivisano da Sant' Angiolo. Questi elessero tra loro una 
Giunta, nella notte ridotti quasi sul romper del giorno, di 
venti Nobili di Venezia de' migliori, de' piu Savj, e de* piu 
antichi, per consultare, non per6 che mettessero pallottola. 
E non vi vollero alcuno da Ca Faliero. E cacciarono fuori 
del Consiglio Niccolo Faliero, e un' altro Niccollo Faliero da 
San Tommaso, per essere della Casata del Doge. E questa 
provigione di chiamare i venti della Giunta fu molto com- 
mendata per tutta la Terra. Questi furono i venti della Giunta, 
Ser Marco Giustiniani Procuratore, Ser' Andrea Erizzo 
Procuratore, Ser Lionardo Giustiniani Procuratore, Ser* 
Andrea Contarini, Ser Simone Dandolo, Ser Niccolo Volpe, 
Ser Giovanni Loredano, Ser Marco Diedo, Ser Giovanni 
Gradenigo, Ser' Andrea Cornaro Cavaliere, Ser Marco 
Soranzo, Ser Rinieri da Mosto, Ser Gazano Marcello, Ser 
Marino Morosiilo, Sere Stefano Belegno, Ser Niccolo Lioni, 
Ser Filippo Orio, Ser Marco Trivisano, Ser Jacopo Bra- 
gadino, Ser Giovanni Foscarini. E chiamati questi venti nel 
Consiglio de' Dieci, fu mandato per Messer Marino Faliero 
Doge, il quale andava pel Palazzo con gran gente, gen- 
tiluomini, e altra buona gente, che non sapeano ancora come 
il fatto stava. In questo tempo fu condotto, preso, e ligato, 
Bertucci Israello, uno de' Capi del trattato per que' di Santa 


Croce, e ancora fu preso Zanello del Brin, Nicoletto di Rosa, 
e Nicoletto Alberto, il Guardiaga, e altri uomini da mare, e 
d' altre condizioni. I quali furono esaminati, e trovata la 
verita del tradimento. A di 16. d' Aprile fu sentenziato pel 
detto Consiglio de' Dieci, che Filippo Calandario, e Bertucci 
Israeli© fossero appicati alle Colonne rosse del balconate del 
Palazzo, nelle quali sta a vedere il Doge la festa della 
Caccia. E cosi furono appiccati con spranghe in bocca. E 
nel giorno seguente questi furono condannati, Niccolo Zuc- 
cuolo, Nicoletto Blondo, Nicoletto Doro, Marco Giuda, 
Jacomello Dagolino, Nicoletto Fedele figliuolo di Filippo 
Calendaro, Marco Torello detto Israello, Stefano Trivisano 
Cambiatore di Santa Margherita, Antonio dalle Bende. 
Furono tutti presi a Chioggia, che fuggivano, e dipoi in 
diversi giorni a due a due, e a uno a uno, per sentenza fatta 
nel detto Consiglio de' Dieci, furono appicati per la gola alle 
Colonne, continuando dalle rosse del Palazzo, seguendo fin 
verso il Canale. E altri presi furono lasciati, perche sen- 
tirono il fatto, ma non vi furono, tal che fu dato loro ad in- 
tendere per questi capi, che venissero coll' arme, per pren- 
dere alcuni malfattori in servigio della Signoria, ne altro 
sapeano. Fu ancora liberate Nicoletto Alberto, il Guardiaga, 
e Bartolommeo Ciriuola, e suo figliuolo, e molti altri, che 
non erano in colpa. 

*' E a di 16. d' Aprile, giorno di Venerdi, fu sentenziato 
nel detto Consiglio de' Dieci, di tagliare la testa a Messer 
Marino Faliero Doge sul pato della Scala di pierra, dove i 
Dogi giurano il primo sagramento, quando montano prima 
in Palazzo. E cosi serrato il Palazzo, la mattina seguente 
a ora di Terza, fu tagliata la testa al detto Doge a di 17. 
d' Aprile. E prima la beretta fu tolta di testa al detto Doge, 
avanti che venisse giu dalla Scala. E compiuta la giustizia, 
pare che un Capo de' Dieci andassa alle Colonne del Palazzo 
sopra la Piazza, e mostrasse la spada insanguinata a tutti, 
dicendo: E stata Jatta la gran giustizia del Traditore. E 


aperta la Porta tutti entrarono dentro con gran furia a ve- 
dere il Doge, ch' era stato giustiziato. E' da sapere, che a 
tare la detta giustizia non fu Ser Giovanni Sanudo il Con- 
sigliere, perche era andato a casa per difetto della persona, 
sicche furono quatordici soli, che ballottarono, cioe cinque 
Consiglieri, e nove del Consiglio de' Dieci. E fu preso, che 
tutti i beni del Doge fossero confiscati nel Comune, e cosi 
degli altri traditori. E f u conceduto al detto Doge pel detto 
Consiglio de' Dieci, ch' egli potesse ordinare del suo per 
Ducati du' mila. Ancora fu preso, che tutti i Consiglieri, 
e Avogadori del Comune, que' del Consiglio de' Dieci, e 
della Giunta, ch' erano stati a fare la detta sentenza del 
Doge, e d' altri, avessero licenza di portar' arme di di e di 
notte in Venezia e da Grado fino a Cavarzere, ch' e sotto il 
Dogato, con due fanti in vita loro, stando i fanti con essi in 
casa al suo pane e al suo vino. E chi non avesse fanti, 
potesse dar tal licenza a' suoi figliuoli ovvero fratelli, due 
pero e non piu. Eziandio fu data licenza dell' arme a quattro 
Notaj della Cancelleria, cioe della Corte Maggiore, che fu- 
rono a prendere le deposizioni e inquisizioni, in perpetuo a 
loro soli, i quali furono Amadio, Nicoletto di Loreno, Stef- 
fanello, e Pietro de' Compostelli, Scrivani de* Signori di 
notte. Et essendo stati impiccati i traditori, e tagliata la 
testa al Doge, rimase la Terra in gran riposo, e quiete. E 
come in una Cronica ho trovato, fu portato il Corpo del 
Doge in una barca con otto doppieri a seppelire nella sua 
area a San Giovanni e Paolo, la quale al presente e in quell' 
andito per mezzo la Chiesuola di Santa Maria della Pace, 
fatta fare pel Vescovo Gabriello di Bergomo, e un Cassone 
di pietra con queste lettere : Heic jacet Dominus Marinus 
Faletro Dux, E nel gran Consiglio non gli e stato fatto al- 
cun Brieve, ma il luogo vacuo con lettere, che dicono cosi : 
Hie est locus Marini Faletro, decapitati pro criminibus. E 
pare, che la sua casa fosse data alia Chiesa di Sant' Apostolo, 
la qual era quella grande sul Pontc. Tamen vg^q il contrario, 


che e pure di Ca Faliero, o che i Falieri la ricuperassero con 
danari dalla Chiesa. Ne voglio restar di scrivere alcuni, che 
volevano, che fosse messo nel suo breve, cioe: Marinus 
Faletro Dux. Temeritas me cepit. Poenas lui, decapitatus 
pro criminibus, Altri vi fecero un Distico assai degno al 
suo merito, il quale d questo, da essere posto su la sua se- 
pultura : 

Dux Venetumjacet heic, patriam qui prodere tentans, 

Sceptra, Decus, Censunij perdidit, atque Caput.^' 

* * * * 

" Non voglio restar di scrivere quello che ho letto in una 
Cronica, cioe, che Marino Faliero trovandosi Podesta e Capi- 
tano a Treviso, e dovendosi fare una Processione, il Vescovo 
stette troppo a far venire il Corpo di Cristo. II detto Faliero 
era di tanta superbia e arroganza, che diede un buffetto al 
prefatO' Vescovo, per modo ch' egh quasi cadde in terra. 
Pero fu permesso, che il Faliero perdette 1' inteletto, e fece 
la mala morte, come ho scritto di sopra." 

Cronica di Sanuto — Muratori S. S. Rerum Italicarum — 
vol. xxii. 628—639. 




On the eleventh day of September, in the year of our 
Lord 1354, Marino Faliero was elected and chosen to be 
the Duke of the Commonwealth of Venice. He was Count 
of Valdemariho, in the Marches of Treviso, and a Knight, and 
a wealthy man to boot. As soon as the election was completed, 
it was resolved in the Great Council, that a deputation of 
twelve should be despatched to Marino Faliero the Duke, 
who was then on his way from Rome ; for when he was chosen, 
he was Embassador at the court of the Holy Father, at 
Rome, — the Holy Father himself held his court at Avignon. 
When Messer Marino Faliero the Duke was about to land 
in this city, on the fifth day of October, 1 354, a thick haze 
came on, and darkened the air ; and he was enforced to land 
on the place of Saint Mark, between the two columns, on the 
spot where evil doers are put to death ; and all thought that 
this was the worst of tokens. — Nor must I forget to write 
that which I have read in a chronicle. — When Messer Marino 
Faliero was Podesta and Captain of Treviso, the Bishop de- 
layed coming in with the holy sacrament, on a day when a 
procession was to take place. Now the said Marino Faliero 
was so very proud and wrathful, that he buffeted the Bishop, 
and almost struck him to the ground. And, therefore. 
Heaven allowed Marino Faliero to go out of his right senses, 
in order that lie might bring himself to an evil death. 


When this Duke had held the Dukedom during nine 
months and six days, he, being wicked and ambitious, sought 
to make himself lord of Venice, in the manner which I have 
read in an ancient chronicle. When the Thursday arrived 
upon which they were wont to hunt the Bull, the Bull hunt 
took place as usual ; and according to the usage of those 
times, after the Bull hunt had ended, they all proceeded 
unto the palace of the Duke, and assembled together in one 
of his halls ; and they disported themselves with the women. 
And until the first bell tolled they danced, and then a banquet 
was served up. My Lord the Duke paid the expenses thereof, 
provided he had a Duchess, and after the banquet they all 
returned to their homes. 

Now to this feast there came a certain Ser Michele Steno, 
a gentleman of poor estate and very young, but crafty and 
daring, and who loved one of the damsels of the Duchess. 
Ser Michele stood amongst the women upon the solajo; 
and he behaved indiscreetly, so that my Lord the Duke or- 
dered that he should be kicked off the solajo; and the 
Esquires of the Duke flung him down f^jom the solajo ac- 
cordingly. Ser Michele thought that such an affront was 
beyond all bearing ; and when the feast was over, and all 
other persons had left the palace, he, continuing heated with 
anger, went to the hall of audience, and wrote certain un- 
seemly words relating to the Duke and the Duchess, upon the 
chair in which the Duke was used to sit ; for in those days 
the Duke did not cover his chair with cloth of sendal, but 
he sat in a chair of wood. Ser Michele wrote thereon : — 
" Marin Falier, the husband of the fair mfe; others hiss her, 
but he keeps her.'' In the morning the words were seen, and 
the matter was considered to be very scandalous ; and the 
Senate commanded the Avogadori of the Commonwealth to 
proceed therein with the greatest diligence. A largesse of 
great amount was innnediately proffered by the Avogadori, in 
order to discover who had written these words. And at length 


it was known that Michele Steno had written them. It was 
resolved in the Council of Forty that he should be arrested ; 
and he then confessed, that in the fit of vexation and spite, 
occasioned by his being thrust off the solajo in the presence 
of his mistress, he had written the words. Therefore the 
Council debated thereon. And the Council took his youth 
into consideration, and that he was a lover, and therefore 
they adjudged that he should be kept in close confinement 
during two months, and that afterwards he should be banished 
from Venice and the state during one year. In consequence 
of this merciful sentence the Duke became exceedingly 
wroth, it appearing to him that the Council had not acted in 
such a manner as was required by the respect due to his 
ducal dignity; and he said that they ought to have con- 
demned Sir Michele to be hanged by the neck, or at least to 
be banished for life. 

Now it was fated that My Lord Duke Marino was to have 
his head cut off. And as it is necessary when any effect is 
to be brought about, that the cause of such effect must hap- 
pen, it therefore came to pass, that on the very day after sen- 
tence had been pronounced on Ser Michele Steno, being the 
first day of Lent, a Gentleman of the house of Barbaro, a 
choleric Gentleman, went to the arsenal and required certain 
things of the masters of the galleys. This he did in the 
presence of the Admiral of the arsenal, and he, hearing the 
request, answered, — No, it cannot be done. — High words 
arose between the Gentleman and the Admiral, and the 
Gentleman struck him with his fist just above the eye; and 
as he happened to have a ring on his finger, the ring cut the 
Admiral and drew blood. The Admiral, all bruised and 
bloody, ran straight to the Duke to complain, and with the 
intent of praying him to inflict some heavy punishment upon 
the Gentleman of Ca Barbaro. — " What wouldst thou have 
me do for thee ?" answered the Duke ; — " think upon the 
" shameful gibe which hath been written concerning mc ; 


'* and think on the manner in which they have punished that 
" ribald Michele Steno, who wrote it ; and see how the 
" Council of Forty respect our person." — Upon this the 
Admiral answered; — " My Lord Duke, if you would wish to 
" make yourself a Prince, and to cut all those cuckoldy gen- 
" tlemen to pieces, I have the heart, if you do but help me, 
" to make you Prince of all this state ; and then you may 
" punish them all." — Hearing this, the Duke said; — " How 
" can such a matter be brought about ?" — and so they dis- 
coursed thereon. 

The Duke called for his nephew Ser Bertuccio Faliero, 
who lived with him in the palace, and they communed about 
this plot. And without leaving the place, they sent for Philip 
Calendaro, a seaman of great repute, and for Bertucci Isra- 
ello, who was exceedingly wily and cunning. Then taking 
counsel amongst themselves, they agreed to call in some 
others ; and so, for several nights successively, they met with 
the Duke at home in his palace. And the following men 
were called in singly ; to wit : — rNiccolo Fagiuolo, Giovanni 
da Corfu, Stefano Fagiano, Niccolo dalle Bende, Niccolo 
Biondo, and Stefano Trivisiano. — It was concerted that six- 
teen or seventeen leaders should be stationed in various parts 
of the City, each being at the head of forty men, armed and 
prepared; but the followers were not to know their de- 
stination. On the appointed day they were to make affrays 
amongst themselves here and there, in order that the Duke 
might have a pretence for tolling the bells of San Marco ; 
these bells are never rung but by the order of the Duke. 
And at the sound of the bells, these sixteen or seventeen, 
with their followers, were to come to San Marco, through 
the streets which open upon the Piazza. And when the 
noble and leading citizens should come into the Piazza, 
to know the cause of the riot, then the conspirators were to 
cut them in pieces ; and this work being finished, My Lord 
Marino Faliero the Duke was to be proclaimed the Lord of 


Venice. Things having beeh thus settled, they agreed to 
fulfil their intent on Wednesday, the fifteenth day of April, 
in the year 1355. So covertly did they plot, that no one 
ever dreamt of their machinations. 

But the Lord, who hath always helped this most glorious 
City, and who, loving its righteousness and holiness, hath 
never forsaken it, inspired oneBeltramo Bergamasco to be the 
cause of bringing the plot to light in the following manner. 
This Beltramo, who belonged to Ser Niccolo Lioni of Santo 
Stefano, had heard a word or two of what was to take place; » 
and so, in the before-mentioned month of April, he went to 
the house of the aforesaid Ser Niccolo Lioni, and told him 
all the particulars of the plot. Ser Niccolo, when he heard 
all these things, was struck dead, as it were, with affright. 
He heard all the particulars ; and Beltramo prayed him to 
keep it all secret ; and, if he told Ser Niccolo, it was in 
order that Ser Niccolo might stop at home on the fifteenth 
of April, and thus save his life. Beltramo was going, but 
Ser Niccolo ordered his servants to lay hands upon him, and 
lock him up. Ser Niccolo then went to the house of Messer 
Giovanni Gradenigo Nasoni, who afterwards became Duke, 
and who also lived at Santo Stefano, and told him all. The 
matter seemed to him to be of the very greatest importance, 
as indeed it was ; and they two went to the house of Ser 
Marco Cornaro, who lived at San Felice ; and, having spoken 
with him, they all three then determined to go back to the 
house of Ser Niccolo Lioni, to examine the said Beltramo : 
and having questioned him, and heard all that he had to say, 
they left him in confinement. And then they all three went 
into the sacristy of San Salvatore, and sent their men to 
summon the Counsellors, the Avogadori, the Capi de'Dieci, 
and those of the Great Council. 

When all were assembled, the whole story was told to 
them. They were struck dead, as it were, with affright. 
They determined to send for Beltramo. Hej^as brought in 


before them. They examined him, and ascertained that the 
matter was true ; and, although they were exceedingly trou- 
bled, yet they determined upon their measures. And they 
sent for the Capi de' Quaranta, the Signori di Notte, the 
Capi de' Sestieri, and the Cinque della Pace ; and they were 
ordered to associate to their men, other good men and true, 
who were to proceed to the houses of the ringleaders of the 
conspiracy, and secure them. And they secured the fore- 
men of the arsenal, in order that the conspirators might 
not do mischief. Towards nightfall they assembled in the 
palace. When they were assembled in the palace, they 
caused the gates of the quadrangle of the palace to be shut. 
And they sent to the keeper of the Bell-tower, and forbade 
the tolling of the bells. All this was carried into effect. The 
before-mentioned conspirators were secured, and they were 
brought to the palace ; and, as the Council of Ten saw that 
the Duke was in the plot, they resolved that twenty of the 
leading men of the state should be associated to them, for 
the purpose of consultation and deliberation, but that they 
should not be allowed to ballot. 

The counsellors were the following ; Ser Giovanni Mo- 
cenigo, of the Sestiero of San Marco ; Ser Almoro Veniero 
da Santa Marina, of the Sestiero of Castello ; Ser Tomaso 
Viadro, of the Sestiero of Canaregio ; Ser Giovanni Sanudo, 
of the Sestiero of Santa Croce ; Ser Pietro Trivisano, of the 
Sestiero of San Paolo ; Ser Pantalione Barbo il Grando, of 
the Sestiero of Ossoduro. The Avogadori of the Common- 
wealth were Zufredo Morosini, and Ser Orio Pasqualigo; 
and these did not ballot. Those of the Council of Ten were 
Ser Giovanni Marcello, Ser Tommaso Sanudo, and Ser 
Micheletto Dolfino, the heads of the aforesaid Council of 
Ten. Ser Luca da Legge, and Ser Pietro da Mosto, inqui- 
sitors of the aforesaid Council. And Ser Marco Polani, Ser 
Marino Veniero, Ser Lando Lombardo, and Ser Nicoletto 
Trivisano, of Sant* Angelo. 


Late in the night, just before the dawning, they chose a 
junta of twenty noblemen of Venice from amongst the wisest 
and the worthiest, and the oldest. They were to give coun- 
sel, but not to ballot. And they would not admit any one of 
Ca Faliero. And Niccolo Faliero, and another Niccolo 
Faliero, of San Tomaso, were expelled from the Council, 
because they belonged to the family of the Doge. And this 
resolution of creating the junta of twenty was much praised 
throughout the state. The following were the members of 
the junta of twenty: — Ser Marco Giustiniani, Procuratore, 
Ser Andrea Erizzo, Procuratore, Ser Lionardo Giustinianai 
Procuratore, Ser Andrea Contarini, Ser Simone Dandolo, 
Ser Nicolo Volpe, Ser Giovanni Loredano, Ser Marco Diedo, 
Ser Giovanni Gradenigo, Ser Andrea Cornaro, Cavaliere, Ser 
Marco Soranzo, Ser Rinieri du Mosto, Ser Gazano Marcello, 
Ser Marino Morosini, Ser Stefano Belegno, Ser Nicolo Lioni, 
Ser Filippo Orio, Ser Marco Trivisano, Ser Jacopo Braga- 
dino, Ser Giovanni Foscarini. 

These twenty were accordingly called in to the Council of 
Ten ; and they sent for My Lord Marino Faliero the Duke : 
and My Lord Marino was then consorting in the palace with 
people of great estate, gentlemen, and other good men, none 
of whom knew yet how the fact stood. 

At the same time Bertucci Israello, who, as one of the 
ringleaders, was to head the conspirators in Santa Croce, 
was arrested and bound, and brought before the Council. 
Zanello del Brin, Nicoletto di Rosa, Nicoletto Alberto, and 
the Guardiaga, were also taken, together with several sea- 
men, and people of various ranks. These were examined, 
and the truth of the plot was ascertained. 

On the sixteenth of April judgment was given in the 
Council of Ten, that Filippo Calendario and Bertucci Israello 
should be hanged upon the red pillars of the balcony of the 
palace, from which the Duke is wont to look at the Bull 
hunt : and they were hanged with gags in their mouths. 


The next day the following were condemned : — Niccolo 
Zuccuolo, Niccoletto Blondo, Nicoletto Doro, Marco Giuda, 
Jacomello Dagolino, Nicoletto Fidele, the son of Filippo 
Calendaro, Marco Torello, called Israello, Stefano Trivisano, 
the money changer of Santa Margherita, and Antonio dalle 
Bende. These were all taken at Chiozza, for they were en- 
deavouring to escape. Afterwards, by virtue of the sentence 
which was passed upon them in the Council of Ten, they 
were hanged on successive days, some singly and some in 
couples, upon the columns of the palace, beginning from the 
red columns, and so going onwards towards the canal. And 
other prisoners were discharged, because, although they had 
been involved in the conspiracy, yet they had not assisted in 
it ; for they were given to understand by some of the heads 
of the plot, that they were to come armed and prepared 
for the service of the state, and in order to secure certain 
criminals, and they knew nothing else. Nicoletto Alberto, 
the Guardiaga, and Bartolommeo Ciricolo and his son, and 
several others, who were not guilty, were discharged. 

On Friday, the sixteenth day of April, judgAient was also 
given, in the aforesaid Council of Ten, that My Lord Marino 
Faliero, the Duke, should have his head cut off, and that 
the execution should be done on the landing-place of the 
stone staircase, where the Dukes take their oath when they 
first enter the palace. On the following day, the seven- 
teenth of April, the doors of the palace being shut, the Duke 
had his head cut off, about the hour of noon. And the 
cap of estate was taken from the Duke's head before he 
came down stairs. When the execution was over, it is said 
that one of the Council of Ten went to the columns of the 
palace over against the place of St. Mark, and that he showed 
the bloody sword unto the people, crying out with a loud 
voice — *' The terrible doom hath fallen upon the traitor !" — 
and the doors were opened, and the people all rushed in, 
to see the corpse of the Duke, who had been beheaded. 


It must be known, that Ser Giovanni Sanudo, the coun- 
cillor, was not present when the aforesaid sentence was pro- 
nounced; because he was unwell and remained at home. 
So that only fourteen balloted; that is to say, five coun- 
cillors, and nine of the Council of Ten. And it was adjudged, 
that all the lands and chattels of the Duke, as well as of the 
other traitors, should be forfeited to the state. And as a 
grace to the Duke, it was resolved in the Council of Ten, 
that he should be allowed to dispose of two thousand ducats 
out of his own property. And it was resolved, that all the 
counsellors and all the Avogadori of the commonwealth, 
those of the Council of Ten, and the members of the junta 
who had assisted in passing sentence on the Duke and the 
other traitors, should have the privilege of carrying arms 
both by day and by night in Venice, and from Grado to 
Cavazere. And they were also to be allowed two footmen 
carrying arms, the aforesaid footmen living and boarding 
with them in their own houses. And he who did not keep 
two footmen might transfer the privilege to his sons or his 
brothers ; but only to two. Permission of carrying arms was 
also granted to the four Notaries of the Chancery, that is to 
say, of the Supreme Court, who took the depositions ; and 
they were, Amedio, Nicoletto di Lorino, StefFanello, and 
Pietro de Compostelli, the secretaries of the Signori di Notte. 

After the traitors had been hanged, and the Duke had had 
his head cut off, the state remained in great tranquillity and 
peace. And, as I have read in a Chronicle, the corpse of 
the Duke was removed in a barge, with eight torches, to his 
tomb in the church of San Giovanni e Paolo, where it was 
buried. The tomb is now in that aisle in the middle of the 
little church of Santa Maria della Pace, which was built by 
Bishop Gabriel of Bergamo. It is a coffin of stone, with these 
words engraven thereon : " Heic Jacet Dominus Marinus 
Faletro Dux." — And they did not paint his portrait in the 
hall of the Great Council : — but in the place where it ought 



to have been, you see these words : — " Hie est locus Marini 
Feletro decapitati pro criminibus.'' — And it is thought that his 
house was granted to the church of Sant' Apostolo ; it was 
that great one near the bridge. Yet this could not be the 
case, or else the family bought it back from the church ; for 
it still belongs to C^ Faliero. I must not refrain from noting, 
that some wished to write the following words in the place 
where his portrait ought to have been, as aforesaid: — 
** Marinus Faletro Dux, temeritas me cepit, danas lui, de- 
" capitatus pro criminibus." — Others, also, indited a couplet, 
worthy of being inscribed upon his tomb. 

" Dux Venetum jacet heic, patriam qui prodere tentans 
** Sceptra, decus, censum, perdidit, atque caput." 

[I am obliged for this excellent translation of the old Chronicle to Mr. 
F. Cohen, to whom the reader will find himself indebted for a version that I 
could not myself (though after many years' intercourse with Italian) have 
given by any means so purely and so faithfully.] 



'< Al giovane Doge Andrea Dandolo succedette un vecchio, 
il quale tardi si pose al timone della repubblica, ma sempre 
prima di quel, che facea d' uopo a lui, ed alia patria : egli ^ 
Marino Faliero, personaggio a me noto per antica dimesti- 
chezza. Falsa era 1* opinione intorno a lui, giacchd egli si 
mostro fornito piu di corraggio, che di senno. Non pago 
della prima dignita, entro con sinistro piede nel pubblico 
Palazzo : imperciocche questo Doge dei Veneti, magistrate 
sacro in tutti i secoli, che dagli antichi fu sempre venerato 
qual nume in quella citta, 1' altr* jeri fu decollato nel ves- 
tibolo deir istesso Palazzo. Discorrerei fin dal principio 
le cause di un tale evvento, e cosi vario, ed ambiguo non 
ne fosse il grido. Nessuno pero lo scusa, tutti afFermano, che 
egli abbia voluto cangiar qualche cosa nell' ordine della 
repubblica a lui tramandato dai maggiori. Che desiderava 
egli di piu ? lo son d' avviso, che egli abbia ottenuto cio, 
che non si concedette a nessun altro : mentre adempiva gli 
uflBcj di legato presso il Pontefice, e sulle rive del Rodano 
trattava la pace, che io prima di lui avevo indarno tentato 
di conchiudere, gli fu conferito 1* onore del Ducato, che 
ne chiedeva, ne s* aspettava. Tomato in patria, penso a 
quello, cui nessuno non pose mente giammai, e soffri quello, 
che a niuno accadde mai di soffrire : giacch^ in quel luogo 
celebcrrimo, c chiarissimo, c bellissimo infra tutri quelli, che 



io vidi, ove i suoi antenati avevano ricevuti grandisslmi 
onori in mezzo alle pompe trionfali, ivi egli fu trascinato in 
modo servile, e spogliato delle insegne ducali, perdette la 
testa, e macchio col proprio sangue le soglie del tempio, V 
atrio del Palazzo, e le scale marmoree rendute spesse volte 
illustri o dalle solenni festivita, o dalle ostili spoglie. Ho 
notato il luogo, ora noto il tempo : e 1' anno del Natale di 
Cristo 1355, fu il giorno 18 d'Aprile. Si alto e il grido 
sparso, che se alcuno esaminera la disciplina, e le costumanze 
di quella citta, e quanto mutamento di cose venga minacciato 
dalla morte di un sol uomo (quantunque molti altri, come 
narrano, essendo complici, o subirono 1' istesso supplicio, 
o lo aspettano) si accorgera, che nulla di piu grande avvenne 
ai nostri tempi nella Italia. Tu forse qui attendi il mio 
giudizio: assolvo il popolo, se credere alia fama, benche 
abbia potuto e castigare piu mitemente, e con maggior 
dolcezza vendicare il suo dolore : ma non cosi facilmente, si 
modera un' ira giusta insieme, e grande in un numeroso 
popolo principalmente, nel quale il precipitoso, ed instabile 
volgo aguzza gli stimoli dell' irracondia con rapidi, e scon- 
sigliati claraori. Compatisco, e nell' istesso tempo mi adiro 
con quell* infelice uomo, il quale adorno di un' insolito 
onore, non so, che cosa si volesse negli estremi anni della 
sua vita : la calamita di lui diviene sempre piu grave, perche 
dalla sentenza contra di esso promulgata aperira, che egli 
fu non solo misero, ma insano, e demente, e che con vane 
arti si usurpo per tanti anni una falsa fama di sapienza. 
Ammonisco i Dogi, i quali gli succederano, che questo e un' 
esempio posto inanziai loro occhj, quale specchio, nel quale 
veggano d' essere non Signori, ma Duci, anzi nemmeno Duci, 
ma onorati servi della Repubblica. Tu sta sano ; e giacch^ 
fluttuano le pubbliche cose, sforsiamoci di governar mode- 
stissimamente i privati nostri affari." 

Levati. Viaggi di Pet r area, vol. iv. p. 323* 


The above Italian translation from the Latin epistles of 
Petrarch proves — 

Istly, That Marino Faliero was a personal friend of Pe- 
trarch's, " antica dimestichezza/' old intimacy, is the phrase 
of the poet. 

2dly, That Petrarch thought that he had more courage 
than conduct, " piu di corraggio che di senno." 

3dly, That there was some jealousy on the part of Pe- 
trarch ; for he says that Marino Faliero was treating of the 
peace which he himself had " vainly attempted to conclude.*' 

4thly, That the honour of the Dukedom was conferred 
upon him, which he neither sought nor expected, " che ne 
chiedeva ne aspettava," and which had never been granted to 
any other in like circumstances, " cio che non si concedette 
a nessun altro," a proof of the high esteem in which he must 
have been held. 

5thly, That he had a reputation for tuisdom, only forfeited 
by the last enterprise of his life, " si usurpo per tanti anni 
una falsa fama di sapienza." — *' He had usurped for so 
many years a false fame of wisdom," rather a difficult task 
I should think. People are generally found out before eighty 
years of age, at least in a republic. 

From these, and the other historical notes which I have 
collected, it may be inferred, that Marino Faliero possessed 
many of the qualities, but not the success of a hero ; and 
that his passions were too violent. The paltry and ignorant 
account of Dr. Moore falls to the ground. Petrarch says, 
" that there had been no greater event in his times" (our times 
literally) *' nostri tempi," in Italy. He also differs from the 
historian in saying that Faliero was " on the banks of the 
Rhone" instead of at Rome, when elected; the other 
accounts say, that the deputation of the Venetian senate 
met him at Ravenna. How this may have been, it is not 
for me to decide, and is of no great importance. Had the 
man succeeded, he would have changed the face of Venice, 
and perhaps of Italy. As it is, what are they both ? 



Extrait de VOuvrage Histoire de la Ripuhlique de Venise, 
par P. Daru de V Academie Fran false, torn. v. livre xxxv. 
p. 95. &c. Edition de Paris MDCCCXIX. 

" A CEs attaques si frequentes que le gouvernement diri- 
geait contre le clerge, a ces luttes etablies entre les difFerens 
corps constitues, a ces entreprises de la masse de la noblesse 
contre les depositaires du pouvoir, a toutes ces propositions 
d'innovation qui se terminaient toujours par des coups d'etat; 
il faut ajouter une autre cause non moins propre a propager 
le mepris des anciennes doctrines, c'etait Vexch de la cor- 

" Cette liberty de moeurs, qu'on avait longtemps vantee 
comme le charme principal de la societe de Venise, etat de- 
venue un desordre scandaleux; le lien du mariage etait 
moins sacre dans ce pays catholique que dans ceux ou les 
lois civiles et religieuses permettent de le dissoudre. Faute 
de pouvoir rompre le contrat, on supposait qu'il n'avait 
jamais existe, et les moyens de nullite, allegues avec im- 
pudeur par les epoux, etaient admis avec la meme facilite 
par des magistrats et par des pretres egalement cOrrompus. 
Ces divorces colores d'un autre nom devinrent si frequents, 
que.l'acte le plus important de la societe civile se trouva de 
la competence d'un tribunal d' exception, et que ce fut a la 
police de reprimer le scandale. Le conseil des dix ordonna, 
en 1782, que toute femme, qui intenterait une demande en 


dissolution de mariage, serait obligee d'en attendre le juge- 
ment dans un couvent que le tribunal designerait *. Bientot 
apres il evoqua devant lui toutes les causes de cette nature t. 
Get empietement sur la jurisdiction ecclesiastique, ayant 
occasionne des reclamations de la part de la cour de Rome, 
le conseil se reserva le droit de debouter les epoux de leur 
demande ; et consentit a la renvoyer devant I'officialite) toutes 
les fois qu'il ne I'aurait pas rejetee J. 

'* II y eut un moment, oii sans doute le renversement des 
fortunes, la perte des jeunes gens, les discordes domestiques, 
determincrent le gouvernement a secarter de maximes qu*il 
s'etait faites sur la liberte de moeurs qu'il permettait a ses 
sujets: on chassa de Venise toutes les courtisanes. Mais 
leur absence ne suffisait pas pour ramener aux bonnes 
mcEurs toute une population elevee dans la plus honteuse 
licence. Le desordre penetra dans I'interieur des families, 
dans les cloitres ; et I'on se crut oblige de rappeler, d'in- 
demniser § meme des femmes, qui surprenaient quelquefois 
d'importants secrets, et qu'on pouvait employer utilement a 
miner des hommes que leur fortune aurait pu rendre dan- 
gereux. Depuis, la licence est toujours allee croissant, et 
Ton a vu non-seulement des meres trafiquer de la virginite 
de leurs filles, mais la vendre par un contrat, dont I'au- 
thenticite etait garantie par la signature d'un officier public, 
et I'execution raise sous la protection des lois ||. 

♦ Correspondance de M. Schlick, charge d'afl&ires de France, depeche du 

f Ibid. Depeche du 31 Aout. 

I Ibid. Depeche du 3 Septembre 1785. 

§ Le decret de rappel les designait sous le nom de nostre henemerite mere- 
Irict. On leur assigna un fonds et des maisons appelees, Case rampaue, d'ou 
▼ient la denomination injurieuse de Carampune. 

II Mayer Description de Venise, torn. 2. ct M. Archenhplz Tableau df Vltalie, 
torn. 1. chap. 2. 


" Les parloirs des couvents ou etaient renfermees les filles 
nobles, les maisons des courtisanes, quoique la police y en- 
tretint soigneusement un grand nombre de surveillants, etaient 
les seuls points de reunion de la societe de Venise, et dans 
ces deux endroits si divers on etait egalement libre. La 
musique, les collations, la galanterie, n'etaient pas plus in- 
terdites dans les parloirs que dans les casins. II y avait un 
grand nombre de casins destines aux reunions publiques, ou 
le jeu etait la principale occupation de la societe. C'etait 
un singulier spectacle de voir autour d'une table des per- 
sonnes des deux sexes en masque, et de graves personnages 
en robe de magistrature, implorant le hasard, passant des 
angoisses du desespoir aux illusions de I'esperance, et cela 
sans proferer une parole. 

*' Les riches avaient des casins particuliers ; mais ils y vi- 
vaient avec mystere ; leurs femmes delaissees trouvaient un 
dedommagement dans la liberte dont elles jouissaient. La 
corruption des moeurs les avait privees de tout leur empire ; 
on vient de parcourir toute Thistoire de Venise, en on ne 
les 9. pas vues une seule fois exercer la moindre influence." 


Extract from the History of the Republic of Venice, by P, 
Darv, Member of the French Academy, vol. v. b. xxxiv. 
p. 95. &c. Paris Edit. 1819. 

" To these attacks so frequently pointed by the govern- 
ment against the clergy, — to the continual struggles between 
the different constituted bodies, — to these enterprises carried 
on by the mass of the nobles against the depositaries of 
power, — to all those projects of innovation, which always 
ended by a stroke of state policy ; we must add a cause not 
less fitted to spread contempt for ancient doctrines ; this was 
the excess of corruption. 

" That freedom of manners, which had been long boasted 
of as the principal charm of Venetian society, had de- 
generated into scandalous licentiousness ; the tie of marriage 
was less sacred in that Catholic country, than among those 
nations where the laws and religion admit of its being dis- 
solved. Because they could not break the contract, they 
feigned that it had not existed ; and the ground of nullity, 
immodestly alleged by the married pair, was admitted with 
equal facility by priests and magistrates, ahke corrupt. 
These divorces, veiled under another name, became so fre- 
quent, that the most important act of civil society was dis- 
covered to be amenable to a tribunal of exceptions ; and to 
reitrain the open scandal of such proceedings became the 


office of the police. In 1782 the council of ten decreed, 
that every woman who should sue for a dissolution of her 
marriage should be compelled to await the decision of the 
judges in some convent, to be named by the court *. Soon 
afterwards the same council summoned all causes of that 
nature before itself f. This infringement on ecclesiastical 
jurisdiction having occasioned someremonstrancefrom Rome, 
the council retained only the right of rejecting the petition 
of the married persons, and consented to refer such causes 
to the holy office as it should not previously have rejected J, 
'* There was a moment in which, doubtless, the destruction 
of private fortunes, the ruin of youth, the domestic discord 
occasioned by these abuses, determined the government to 
depart from its established maxims concerning the freedom of 
manners allowed the subject. All the courtisans were banished 
from Venice ; but their absence was not enough to reclaim and 
bring back good morals to a whole people brought up in 
the most scandalous licentiousness. Depravity reached the 
very bosoms of private families, and even into the cloister ; 
and they found themselves obliged to recal, and even to in- 
demnify § women who sometimes gained possession of im- 
portant secrets, and who might be usefully employed in the 
ruin of men whose fortunes might have rendered them 
dangerous. Since that time licentiousness has gone on in- 
creasing, and we have seen mothers, not only selling the 
innocence of their daughters, but selling it by a contract, 
authenticated by the signature of a public officer, and the 

• Correspondence of M. Schlick, French charge d'affaires. Despatch of 
24th August 1782. 

•j- Ibid. Despatch, 3 1 st August. 

I Ibid. Despatch, 3d September 1785. 

§ The decree for their recal designates them as nustrc benemerite meretrici. 
A fund and some houses called Case rampant were assigned to them j hence 
the opprobrious appellation of Carampanc, 


performance of which was secured by the protection of the 
laws *. 

" The parlours of the convents of noble ladies, and the 
houses of the courtisans, though the police carefully kept 
up a number of spies about them, were the only assemblies 
for society in Venice ; and in these two places, so different 
from each pther, there was equal freedom. Music, col- 
lations, gallantry, were not more forbidden in the parlours 
than at the casinos. There were a number of casinos for 
the purpose of public assemblies, where gaming was the 
principal pursuit of the company. It was a strange sight to 
see persons of either sex masked, or grave in their magis- 
terial robes, round a table, invoking chance, and giving way 
at one instant to the agonies of despair, at the next to the 
illusions of hope, and that without uttering a single word. 

" The rich had private casinos, but they lived incognito 
in them ; and the wives whom they abandoned found com- 
pensation in the liberty they enjoyed. The corruption of 
morals had deprived them of their empire. We have just 
reviewed the whole history of Venice, and we have not once 
seen them exercise the slightest influence." 

• Mayer, Description of Venice, vol. ii. and M. Archeiiholtz, Picture «f 
Itali/f vol. i. ch. 2. 

From the present decay and degeneracy of Venice under 
the Barbarians, there are some honourable individual ex- 
ceptions. There is Pasqualigo, the last, and, alas ! post- 
humous son of the marriage of the Doges with the Adriatic, 
who fought his frigate with far greater gallantry than any of 
his French coadjutors in the memorable action off Lissa. I 


came home in the squadron with the prizes in 1811, and 
recollect to have heard Sir William Hoste, and the other 
officers engaged in that glorious conflict, speak in the highest 
terms of Pasqualigo*s behaviour. There is the Abbate 
Morelli. There is Alvise Querini, who, after a long and 
honourable diplomatic career, finds some consolation for the 
wrongs of his country, in the pursuits of literature with his 
nephew, Vittor Benzon, the son of the celebrated beauty, 
the heroine of" La Biondina in Gondoletta." There are the 
patrician poet Morosini, and the poet Lamberti, the author 
of the " Biondina," &c. and many other estimable pro- 
ductions; and, not least in an Englishman's estimation, 
Madame Michelli, the translator of Shakspeare. There are 
the young Dandolo and the improvvisatore Carrer, and Giu- 
seppe Albrizzi, the accomplished son of an accomplished 
mother. There is Aglietti, and were there nothing else, 
there is the immortality of Canova. Cicognara, Mustoxithi, 
Bucati, &c. &c. I do not reckon, because the one is a 
Greek, and the others were born at least a hundred miles 
off, which, throughout Italy, constitutes, if not a foreigner, 
at least a stranger (forestierej. 



Exirait de VOuvrage Histoire Litteraire d' Italic, par P. L. 
Gingueniy Tom. ix. Chap, xxxvi. p. 144. Edition de 

" II y en a une fort singuliere sur Venise : * Si tu ne 
changes pas,' dit-il a cette republique altiere, * ta Hberte 
<jui dcja s' enfuit, ne comptera pas un siecle apres la mil- 
lieme annee.' 

" En faisant remonter Tepoque de la liberte Venitienne 
jusqu'a I'etabHssement du gouvernement sous le quel la re- 
publique a fleuri, on trouvera que I'election du premier Doge 
date de 697> et si Ton y ajoute un siecle apres mille, c'est a 
dire onze cents ans, on trouvera encore que le sens de la 
prediction est litteralement celui-ci : ' Ta liberte ne comptera 
pas jusqu'a I'an 1797.* Rappelez-vous maintenant que 
Venise a cesse d' ^tre libre en I'an cinq de la republique 
Fran9aise, ou en 1796 ; vous verrez qu'il n'y eut jamais de 
prediction plus precise et plus ponctuellement suivie de 
I'effet. Vous noterez done comme trds-remarquables ces 
trois vers de I'Alamanni, adresscs a Venise, que personne 
pourtant n'a remarqucs : 

* Se non cangi pensier, run secol solo 
Non conterd, sopra '/ millesimo anno 
Tua liberthy che vafuggendo a volo.' 

Bien des propheties ont passe pour telles, et bien des gens 
ont etc appeles prophctes a meilleur marche." 



Extract from the Literary History of Italy, hy P. L. Ginguenk, 
vol. ix. p. 144-. Paris Edit. 1819. 

*' There is one very singular prophecy concerning Venice: 
i If thou dost not change,* it says to that proud republic, 
< thy liberty, which is already on the wing, will not reckon 
a century more than the thousandth year.' 

" If we carry back the epocha of Venetian freedom to the 
establishment of the government under which the republic 
flourished, we shall find that the date of the election of the 
first Doge is 697 ; and if we add one century to a thousand, 
that is, eleven hundred years, we shall find the sense of the 
prediction to be literally this : * Thy liberty will not last till 
1797.* Recollect that Venice ceased to be free in the year 
1796, the fifth year of the French republic; and you will 
perceive, that there never was prediction more pointed, or 
more exactly followed by the event. You will, therefore, 
note as very remarkable the three lines of Alamanni, ad- 
dressed to Venice, which, however, no one has pointed out : 
' Se non cangi pensier, Vun secol solo 
Nan contera sopra 7 millesimo anno 
Tua liberta, chi vafuggendo a voio.' 

Many prophecies have passed for such, and many men have 
been called prophets for much less." 

If the Doge's prophecy seem remarkable, look to the above, made by 
Alamanni two hundred and seventy years ago. 


The author of " Sketches Descriptive of Italy," «S:c. one 
of the hundred tours lately published, is extremely anxious 
to disclaim a possible charge of plagiarism from <* Childe 
Harold" and " Beppo." See p. 159, vol. iv. He adds, that 
still less could this presumed coincidence arise from " my 
conversation," as he had ^^ repeatedly declined an introduction 
to me while in Italy.'* 

Who this person may be I know not ; but he must have 
been deceived by all or any of those who " repeatedly 
offered to introduce" him, as I have invariably refused to 
receive any English with whom I was not previously ac- 
quainted, even when they had letters from England. If the 
whole assertion is not an invention, I request this person not 
to sit down with the notion that he could have been in- 
troduced, since there has been nothing I have so carefully 
avoided as any kind of intercourse with his countrymen, — 
excepting the very £ev^ who were a considerable time resident 
in Venice, or had been of my previous acquaintance. Who- 
ever made him any such offer was possessed of impudence 
equal to that of making such an assertion without having had 
it. The fact is, that I hold in utter abhorrence any contact 
with the travelling English, as my friend the Consul General 
Hoppner, and the Countess Benzoni, (in whose house the 
Conversazione mostly frequented by them is held), could 
amply testify, were it worth while. I was persecuted by 
these tourists even to my riding ground at Lido, and reduced 
to the most disagreeable circuits to avoid them. At Madame 
Benzoni's I repeatedly refused to be introduced to them ; — 
of a thousand such presentations pressed upon me, I accepted 
two, and both were to Irish women. 

I should hardly have descended to speak of such trifles 
publicly, if the impudence of this " sketcher" had not forced 
me to a refutation of a disingenuous and gratuitously im- 
pertinent assertion ; — so meant to be, for what could it im- 

port to the reader to be told that the author " had repeatedly 
declined an introduction," even had it been true, which, for 
the reasons I have above given, is scarcely possible. Ex- 
cept Lords Lansdowne, Jersey, and Lauderdale; Messrs. 
Scott, Hammond, Sir Humphrey Davy, the late M. Lewis, 
W. Bankes, Mr. Hoppner, Thomas Moore, Lord Kinnaird, 
his brother, Mr. Joy, and Mr. Hobhouse, I do not recollect 
to have exchanged a word with another Englishman since 
I left their country ; and almost all these I had known before. 
The others, — and God knows there were some hundreds, 
who bored me with letters or visits, I refused to have any 
communication with, and shall be proud and happy when 
that wish becomes mutual. 



" 'Tis the sunset of life gives me mystical lore, 
" And coming events cast their shadows before.'* 



LADY ! if for the cold and cloudy clime 

Where I was born, but where I would not die, 

Of the great Poet-Sire of Italy 
I dare to build the imitative rhyme, 
Harsh Runic copy of the South's sublime, 

Thou art the cause ; and howsoever I 

Fall short of his immortal harmony. 
Thy gentle heart will pardon me the crime. 

Thou, in the pride of Beauty and of Youth, 

Spak'st ; and for thee to speak and be obey'd 
Are one ; but only in the sunny South 

Such sounds are utter'd, and such charms displayed. 
So sweet a language from so fair a mouth — 

Ah ! to what effort would it not persuade ? 

Ravenna^ June 21, 1819. 



In the course of a visit to the city of Ravenna in the 
summer of 1819,- it was suggested to the author that 
having composed something on the subject of Tasso*s 
confinement, he should do the same on Dante's exile 
— the tomb of the poet forming one of the principal 
objects of interest in that city, both to the native and 
to the stranger. 


" On this hint I spake," and the result has been 
the following four cantos, in terza rima, now offered 
to the reader. If they are understood and approved, 
it is my purpose to continue the poem in various other 
cantos to its natural conclusion in the present age. The 
reader is requested to suppose that Dante addresses 
him in the interval between the conclusion of the 
Divina Commedia and his death, and shortly before 
the latter event, foretelling the fortunes of Italy in 
general in the ensuing centuries. In adopting this 


plan I have had in my mind the Cassandra of Lyco- 
phron, and the Prophecy of Nereus by Horace, as 
well as the Prophecies of Holy Writ. The measure 
adopted is the terza rima of Dante, which I am not 
aware to have seen hitherto tried in our language, 
except it may be by Mr. Hayley, of whose translation 
I never saw but one extract, quoted in the notes to 
Caliph Vathek ; so that — if I do not err — this poem 
may be considered as a metrical experiment. The 
cantos are short, and about the same length of those 
of the poet whose name I have borrowed, and most 
probably taken in vain. 

Amongst the inconveniences of authors in the pre- 
sent day, it is difficult for any who have a name, good 
or bad, to escape translation. I have had the fortune 
to see the fourth canto of Childe Harold translated 
into Italian versi sciolti — that is, a poem written in 
the Spenserean stanza into hlarik verse, without regard 
to the natural divisions of the stanza, or of the sense. 
If the present poem, being on a national topic, should 
chance to undergo the same fate, I would request the 
Italian reader to remember that when I have failed 
in the imitation of his great *^ Padre Alighier," I have 


failed in imitating that which all study and few un- 
derstand, since to this very day it is not yet settled 
what was the meaning of the allegory in the first 
canto of the Inferno, unless Count Marchetti's in- 
genious and probable conjecture may be considered 
as having decided the question. 

He may also pardon my failure the more, as I am 
not quite siure that he would be pleased with my 
success, since the Italians, with a pardonable nation- 
ality, are particularly jealous of all that is left them as 
a nation — their literature ; and in the present bitter- 
ness of the classic and romantic war, are but ill disposed 
to permit a foreigner even to approve or imitate them 
without finding some fault with his ultramontane pre- 
sumption. I can easily enter into all this, knowing 
what would be thought in England of an Italian 
imitator of Milton, or if a translation of Monti, or 
Pindemonte, or Arici, should be held up to the rising 
generation as a model for their future poetical essays. 
But I perceive that I am deviating into an address to 
the Italian reader, when my business is with the 
English one, and be they few or many, I must take 
my leave of both. 




ONCE more in man*s frail world ! which I had left 
So long that 'twas forgotten ; and I feel 
The weight of clay again, — too soon bereft 

Of the immortal vision which could heal 
My earthly sorrows, and to God's own skies 
Lift me from that deep gulf without repeal, 

Where late my ears nmg with the damned cries 
Of souls in hopeless bale ; and from that place 
Of lesser torment, whence men may arise 

Pure from the fire to join the angehc race ; 10 

Midst whom my own bright Beatrice bless'd (l) 
My spirit with her light ; and to the base 

218 PROPHECY OF DANTE. Canto 1. 

Of the Eternal Triad ! first, last, best, 

Mysterious, three, sole, infinite, great God ! 

Soul universal ! led the mortal guest, 
Unblasted by the glory, though he trod 

From star to star to reach the almighty throne. 

Oh Beatrice ! whose sweet limbs the sod 
So long hath prest, and the cold marble stone. 

Thou sole pure seraph of my earliest love, 20 

Love so ineffable, and so alone. 
That nought on earth could more my bosom move, 

And meeting thee in heaven was but to meet 

That without which my soul, like the arkless dove. 
Had wander'd still in search of, nor her feet 

Relieved her wing till found ; without thy light 

My Paradise had still been incomplete. (2) 
Since my tenth sim gave summer to my sight 

Thou wert my life, the essence of my thought. 

Loved ere I knew the name of love, and bright 30 
Still in these dim old eyes, now overwrought 

With the world's war, and years, and banishment. 

Canto 1. PROPHECY OF DANTE. 219 

And tears for thee, by other woes untaught ; 
For mine is not a nature to be bent 

By tyrannous faction, and the brawHng crowd ; 

And though the long, long conflict hath been spent 
In vain, and never more, save when the cloud 

Which overhangs the Apennine, my mind's eye 

Pierces to fancy Florence, once so proud 
Of me, can I return, though but to die, 40 

Unto my native soil, they have not yet 

Quench'd the old exile's spirit, stern and high. 
But the sun, though not overcast, must set. 

And the night cometh ; I am old in days. 

And deeds, and contemplation, and have met 
Destruction face to face in all his ways. 

The world hath left me, what it found me, pure. 

And if I have not gather 'd yet its praise, 
I sought it not by any baser lure ; 

Man wrongs, and Time avenges, and my name 50 

May form a monument not all obscure. 
Though such was not my ambition's end or aim. 

220 PROPHECY OF DANTE. Canto 1. 

To add to the vain-glorious list of those 
Who dabble in the pettiness of fame, 

And make men's fickle breath the wind that blows 
Their sail, and deem it glory to be class'd 
With conquerors, and virtue's other foes, 

In bloody chronicles of ages past. 

I would have had my Florence great and free : (3) 
Oh Florence ! Florence ! unto me thou wast 60 

Like that Jerusalem which the Almighty He 

Wept over, " but thou wouldst not ;" as the bird 
Gathers its young, I would have gather'd thee 

Beneath a parent pinion, hadst thou heard 
My voice ; but as the adder, deaf and fierce, 
Against the breast that cherish'd thee was stirr'd 

Thy venom, and my state thou didst amerce. 
And doom this body forfeit to the fire. 
Alas ! how bitter is his country's curse 

To him who^or that country would expire, 70 

But did not merit to expire bi/ her. 
And loves her, loves her even in her ire. 

Canto 1. PROPHECY OF DANTE. 221 

The day may come when she will cease to err, 
The day may come she would be proud to have 
The dust she dooms to scatter, and transfer (4) 

Of hhn, whom she denied a home, the grave. 
But this shall not be granted ; let my dust 
Lie where it falls ; nor shall the soil which gave 

Me breath, but in her sudden fury thrust 
Me forth to breathe elsewhere, so reassume 80 

My indignant bones, because her angry gust 

Forsooth is over, and repeal'd her doom ; 

No, — she denied me what was mine — my roof. 
And shall not have what is not hers — my tomb. 

Too long her armed wrath'hath kept aloof 

The breast which would have bled for her, the heart 
That beat, the mind that was temptation proof. 

The man who fought, toil'd, travell'd, and each part 
Of a true citizen fulfiU'd, and saw 
For his reward the Guelfs ascendant art 90 

Pass his destruction even into a law. 

These things are not made for forgetfulness. 


Florence shall be forgotten first ; too raw 
The wound, too deep the wrong, and the distress 

Of such endurance too prolong'd to make 

My pardon greater, her injustice less. 
Though late repented ; yet — yet for her sake 

I feel some fonder yearnings, and for thine. 

My own Beatrice, I would hardly take 
Vengeance upon the land which once was mine, 100 

And still is hallow'd by thy dust's return, 

Which would protect the murderess like a shrine. 
And save ten thousand foes by thy sole urn. 

Though, Uke old Marius from Minturnae's marsh 

And Carthage ruins, my lone breast may bum 
At times with evil feeUngs hot and harsh. 

And sometimes the last pangs of a vile foe 

Writhe in a dream before me, and o'erarch 
My brow with hopes of triumph, — let them go ! 

Such are the last infirmities of those 110 

Wlio long have suffer'd more than mortal woe. 
And yet being mortal still, have no repose 

Canto 1. PROPHECY OF DANTE. 223 

But on the pillow of Revenge — Revenge, 
"Who sleeps to dream of blood, and waking glows 
With the oft-baffled, slakeless thirst of change, 
When we shall mount again, and they that trod 
Be trampled on, while Death and Ate range 

O'er humbled heads and sever'd necks Great God ! 

Take these thoughts from me — to thy hands I yield 
My many wrongs, and thine almighty rod 120 

Will fall on those who smote me, — be my shield ! 
As thou hast been in peril, and in pain. 
In turbulent cities, and the tented field — 
In toil, and many troubles borne in vain 
For Florence. — I appeal from her to Thee ! 
Thee, whom I late saw in thy loftiest reign. 
Even in that glorious vision, which to see 
And live was never granted until now, 
And yet thou hast pei-mitted this to me. 
Alas ! with what a weight upon my brow 130 

The sense of earth and earthly things come back. 
Corrosive passions, feelings dull and low, 


The heart's quick throb upon the mental rack, 
Long day, and dreary night ; the retrospect 
Of half a century bloody and black. 
And the frail few years I may yet expect 

Hoary and hopeless, but less hard to bear. 

For I have been too long and deeply wreck'd 
On the lone rock of desolate Despair 

To lift my eyes more to the passing sail 140 

Which shuns that reef so horrible and bare ; 
Nor raise my voice — for who would heed my wail ? 

I am not of this people, nor this age, 

And yet my harpings will unfold a tale 
Wliich shall preserve these times when not a page 

Of their perturbed annals could attract 

An eye to gaze upon their civil rage 
Did not my verse embalm full many an act 

Worthless as they who wrought it : 'tis the doom 

Of spirits of my order to be rack*d 150 

In life, to wear their hearts out, and consume 

Their days in endless strife, and die alone ; 

Canto 1. PROPHECY OF DANTE. 225 

Then future thousands crowd around their tomb, 
And pilgrims come from climes where they have known 

The name of him — ^who now is but a name, 

And wasting homage o'er the sullen stone. 
Spread his — by him unheard, unheeded — fame ; 

And mine at least hath cost me dear : to die 

Is nothing ; but to wither thus — to tame 
My mind down from its own infinity — 160 

To live in narrow ways with httle men, 

A common sight to every common eye, 
A wanderer, while even wolves can find a den, 

Ripp'd from all kindred, from all home, all things 

That make communion sweet, and soften pain — 
To feel me in the solitude of kings 

Without the power that makes them bear a crown — 

To envy every dove his nest and wings 
Which waft him where the Apennine looks down 

On Amo, till he perches, it may be, 170 

Within my all inexorable town. 
Where yet my boys are, and that fatal she, (5) 


226 PROPHECY OF DANTE. Canto 1. 

Their mother, the cold partner who hath brought 

Destruction for a dowry — this to see 
And feel, and know without repair, hath taught 

A bitter lesson ; but it leaves me free l 

I have not vilely found, nor basely sought, 
They made an Exile — not a slave of me. 




The Spirit of the fervent days of Old, 

When words were things that came to pass, and thought 
Flash'd o'er the future, bidding men behold 

Their children's children's doom already brought 
Forth from the abyss of time which is to be, 
The chaos of events, where lie half-wrought 

Shapes that must undergo mortaUty ; 
What the great Seers of Israel wore within. 
That spirit was on them, and is on me. 

And if, Cassandra-like, amidst the din 10 

Of conflict none will hear, or hearing heed 
This voice from out the Wilderness, the sin 

228 PROPHECY OF DANTE. Canto 2. 

Be theirs, and my own feelings be my meed, 

The only guerdon I have ever known. 

Hast thou not bled ? and hast thou still to bleed, 
Italia ? Ah ! to me such things, foreshown 

With dim sepulchral Hght, bid me forget 

In thine irreparable wrongs my own ; 
We can have but one country, and even yet 

Thou'rt mine — my bones shall be within thy breast. 

My soul within thy language, which once set 21 

With our old Roman sway in the wide West ; 

But I will make another tongue arise 

As lofty and more sweet, in which exprest 
The hero's ardour, or the lover's sighs. 

Shall find alike such sounds for every theme 

That every word, as brilliant as thy skies. 
Shall realize a poet's proudest dream. 

And make thee Europe's nightingale of song ; 

So that all present speech to thine shall seem 30 

The note of meaner birds, and every tongue 

Confess its barbarism when compared with thine. 


This shalt thou owe to him thou didst so wrong, 
Thy Tuscan Bard, the banish'd Ghibelline. 

Woe ! woe ! the veil of coming centuries 

Is rent, — a thousand years which yet supine 
Lie like the ocean waves ere winds arise, 

Heaving in dark and sullen undulation, 

Float from eternity into these eyes ; 39 

The storms yet sleep, the clouds still keep their station, 

The unborn earthquake yet is in the womb, 

The bloody chaos yet expects creation, 
But all things are disposing for thy doom ; 

The elements await but for the word, 

"Let there be darkness!" and thou grow'st a tomb! 
Yes ! thou, so beautiful, shalt feel the sword, 

Thou, Italy ! so fair that Paradise, 

Revived in thee, blooms forth to man restored : 
Ah ! must the sons of Adam lose it twice ? 

Thou, Italy ! whose ever golden fields, 50 

Plough'd by the sunbeams solely, would suffice 
For the world's granary ; thou, whose sky heaven gilds 

230 PROPHECY OF DANTE. Canto 2. 

With brighter stars, and robes with deeper blue ; 
Thou, in whose pleasant places Summer builds 

Her palace, in whose cradle Empire grew, 
And form'd the Eternal City's ornaments 
From spoils of kings whom freemen overthrew ; 

Birthplace of heroes, sanctuary of saints, 
Where earthly first, then heavenly glory made 
Her home ; thou, all which fondest fancy paints, - 60 

And finds her prior vision but portray'd 

In feeble colours, when the eye — from the Alp 
Of horrid snow, and rock, and shaggy shade 

Of desert-loving pine, whose emerald scalp 
Nods to the storm — dilates and dotes o'er thee. 
And wistfully implores, as 'twere, for help 

To see thy sunny fields, my Italy, 

Nearer and nearer yet, and dearer still 

The more approach'd, and dearest were they free. 

Thou — Thou must wither to each tyrant's will: 70 

The Goth hath been, — the German, Frank, and Hun 
Are yet to come, — and on the imperial hill 

Canto 2. PROPHECY OF DANTE. 231 

Ruin, already proud of the deeds done 

By the old barbarians, there awaits the new. 
Throned on the Palatine, while lost and won 

Rome at her feet lies bleeding ; and the hue , 
Of human sacrifice and Roman slaughter 
Troubles the clotted air, of late so blue. 

And deepens into red the saflfron water 

Of Tiber, thick with dead ; the helpless priest, 80 
And still more helpless nor less holy daughter, 

Vow'd to their God, have shrieking fled, and ceased 
Their ministry : the nations take their prey, 
Iberian, Almain, Lombard, and the beast 

And bird, wolf, vulture, more humane than they 
Are ; these but gorge the flesh and lap the gore 
Of the departed, and then go their way ; 

But those, the human savages, explore 
All paths of torture, and insatiate yet. 
With Ugolino hunger prowl for more. 90 

Nine moons shall rise o*er scenes like this and set ; (^ 
The chiefless army of the dead, which late 


Beneath the traitor Prince's banner met, 
Hath left its leader's ashes at the gate ; 

Had but the royal Rebel lived, perchance 

Thou hadst been spared, but his involved thy fate. 
Oh ! Rome, the spoiler or the spoil of France, 

From Brennus to the Bourbon, never, never 

Shall foreign standard to thy walls advance 
But Tiber shall become a mournful river. 100 

Oh ! when the strangers pass the Alps and Po, 

Crush them, ye rocks ! floods, whelm them, and for ever ! 
Why sleep the idle avalanches so. 

To topple on the lonely pilgrim's head ? 

Why doth Eridanus but overflow 
The peasant's harvest from his turbid bed ? 

Were not each barbarous horde a nobler prey ? 

Over Cambyses' host the desert spread 
Her sandy ocean, and the sea waves' sway 

Roll'd over Pharaoh and his thousands, — why, 110 

Mountains and waters, do ye not as they ? 


And you, ye men ! Romans, who dare not die. 

Canto 2. PROPHECY OF DANTE. 233 

Sons of the conquerors who overthrew 

Those who overthrew proud Xerxes, where yet lie 

The dead whose tomb ObUvion never knew, 
Are the Alps weaker than Thermopylae ? 
Their passes more alluring to the view 

Of an invader ? is it they, or ye. 

That to each host the mountain-gate unbar, 
And leave the march in peace, the passage free ? 

Why, Nature's self detains the victor's car 121 

And makes your land impregnable, if earth 
Could be so ; but alone she will not war. 

Yet aids the warrior worthy of his birth 

In a soil where the mothers bring forth men : 
Not so with those whose souls are Httle worth ; 

For them no fortress can avail, — the den 
Of the poor reptile which preserves its sting 
Is more secure than walls of adamant, when 

The hearts of those within are quivering. 130 

Are ye not brave ? Yes, yet the Ausonian soil 
Hath hearts, and hands, and arms, and hosts to bring 

234 PROPHECY OF DANTE. Canto 2. 

Against Oppression ; but how vain the toil, 
While still Division sows the seeds of woe 
And weakness, till the stranger reaps the spoil. 

Oh ! my own beauteous land ! so long laid low. 
So long the grave of thy own children's hopes, 
When there is but required a single blow 

To break the chain, yet — yet the Avenger stops, 139 
And Doubt and Discord step 'twixt thine and thee. 
And join their strength to that which with thee copes ; 

What is there wanting then to set thee free, 
And show thy beauty in its fullest light ? 
To make the Alps impassable ; and we. 

Her sons, may do this with one deed Unite ! 



CANTO in. 

From out the mass of never dying ill, 

The Plague, the Prince, the Stranger, and the Sword, 
Vials of wrath but emptied to refill 

And flow again, I cannot all record 

That crowds on my prophetic eye : the earth 
And ocean written o'er would not afford 

Space for the annal, yet it shall go forth ; 

Yes, all, though not by human pen, is graven. 
There where the farthest suns and stars have birth. 

Spread like a banner at the gate of heaven, 10 


The bloody scroll of our millennial wrongs 

Waves, and the echo of our groans is driven 
Athwart the sound of archangelic songs. 

And Italy, the martyr'd nation's gore. 

Will not in vain arise to where belongs 
Omnipotence and mercy evermore : 

Like to a harpstring stricken by the wind. 

The sound of her lament shall, rising o'er 
The seraph voices, touch the Almighty Mind. 

Meantime I, humblest of thy sons, and of 20 

Earth's dust by immortality refined 
To sense and suffering, though the vain may scoff, 

And tyrants threat, and meeker victims bow 
- Before the storm because its breath is rough, 
To thee, my country ! whom before, as now, 

I loved and love, devote the mournful lyre 

And melancholy gift high powers allow 
To read the future ; and if now my fire 

Is not as once it shone o'er thee, forgive ! 


I but foretell thy fortunes — then expire ; 30 

Think not that I would look on them and hve. 

A spirit forces me to see and speak, 

And for my guerdon grants not to survive ; 
My heart shall be pour'd over thee and break : 

Yet for a moment, ere I must resume 

Thy sable web of sorrow, let me take 
Over the gleams that flash athwart thy gloom 

A softer gUmpse ; some stars shine through thy night. 

And many meteors, and above thy tomb 
Leans sculptured Beauty, which Death cannot blight ; 

And from thine ashes boundless spirits rise 41 

To give thee honour, and the earth delight ; 
Thy soil shall still be pregnant with the wise, 

The gay, the learn'd, the generous, and the brave. 

Native to thee as summer to thy skies. 
Conquerors on foreign shores, and the far wave, (7) 

Discoverers of new worlds, which take their name ; C^) 

For tliee alone they have no arm to save, 

238 PROPHECY OF DANTE. Canto 3. 

And all thy recompense is in their fame, 

A noble one to them, but not to thee^ — 50 

Shall they be glorious, and thou still the same ? 

Oh ! more than these illustrious far shall be 
The being — and even yet he may be born — 
The mortal saviour who shall set thee free, 

And see thy diadem, so changed and worn 
By fresh barbarians, on thy brow replaced ; 
And the sweet sun replenishing thy morn. 

Thy moral morn, too long with clouds defaced 
And noxious vapours from Avemus risen, 
Such as all they must breathe who are debased 60 

By servitude, and have the mind in prison. 
Yet through this centuried eclipse of woe 
Some voices shall be heard, and earth shall listen ; 

Poets shall follow in the path I show, 

And make it broader ; the same brilliant sky 
Which cheers the birds to song shall bid them glow. 

And raise their notes as natural and high j 

Canto 3. PROPHECY OF DANTE. 239 

Tuneful shall be their numbers ; they shall sing 

Many of love, and some of liberty. 
But few shall soar upon that eagle's wing, 70 

And look in the sun's face with eagle's gaze 

All free and fearless as the feather'd king, 
But fly more near the earth ; how many a phrase 

Sublime shall lavish'd be on some small prince 

In all the prodigality of praise ! 
And language, eloquently false, evince 

The harlotry of genius, which, Uke beauty, 

Too oft forgets its own self-reverence, 
And looks on prostitution as a duty. 

(9) He who once enters in a tjrrant's hall 80 

As guest is slave, his thoughts become a booty. 
And the first day which sees the chain enthral 

A captive, sees his half of manhood gone — (^^) 

The soul's emasculation saddens all 
His spirit ; thus the Bard too near the throne 

Quails from his inspiration, bound to please, — 
How servile is the task to please alone ! 

240 PROPHECY OF DANTE. Canto 3. 

To smooth the verse to suit his sovereign's ease 
And royal leisure, nor too much prolong 
Aught save his eulogy, and find, and seize, 90 

Or force, or forge fit argument of song ! 

Thus trammell'd, thus condemn'd to Flattery's trebles, 
He toils through all, still trembling to be wrong : 

For fear some noble thoughts, like heavenly rebels. 
Should rise up in high treason to his brain, 
He sings, as the Athenian spoke, with pebbles 

In 's mouth, lest truth should stammer through his strain. 
But out of the long file of sonneteers 
There shall be some who will not sing in vain, 

And he, their prince, shall rank among my peers, (H) 
And love shall be his torment ; but his grief 101 
Shall make an immortality of tears, 

And Italy shall hail him as the Chief 
Of Poet-lovers, and his higher song 
Of Freedom wreathe him with as green a leaf. 

But in a farther age shall rise along 
The banks of Po, two greater still than he ; 

Cawto S. prophecy OF DANTE. 241 

The world which smiled on him shall do them wrong 

Till they are ashes, and repose with me. 

The first will make an epoch with his lyre, 110 

And fill the earth with feats of chivalry : 

His fancy like a rainbow, and his fire. 

Like that of heaven, immortal, and his thought 
Borne onward with a wing that cannot tire ; 

Pleasure shall, like a butterfly new caught. 
Flutter her lovely pinions o'er his theme, 
. And Art itself seem into Nature wrought 

By the transparency of his bright dream. — 
The second, of a tenderer, sadder mood. 
Shall pour his soul out o'er Jerusalem ; 120 

He, too, shall sing of arms, and christian blood 

Shed where Christ bled for man ; and his high harp 
Shall, by the willow over Jordan's flood, 

Revive a song of Sion, and the sharp 
Conflict, and final triumph of the brave 
And pious, and the strife of hell to warp 

Their hearts from their great purpose, until wave 


242 PROPHECY OF DANTE. Canto 3. 

The red-cross banners where the first red Cross 

Was crimson'd from his veins who died to save, 
Shall be his sacred argument ; the loss 130 

Of years, of favour, freedom, even of fame 

Contested for a time, while the smooth gloss 
Of courts would slide o*er his forgotten name. 

And call captivity a kindness, meant 

To shield him from insanity or shame. 
Such shall be his meet guerdon ! who was sent 

To be Christ's Laureate — they reward him well ! 

Florence dooms me but death or banishment, 
Ferrara him a pittance and a cell. 

Harder to bear and less deserved, for I 140 

Had stung the factions which I strove to quell ; 
But this meek man, who with a lover's eye 

Will look on earth and heaven, and who will deign 

To embalm with his celestial flattery 
As poor a thing as e'er was spawn'd to reign, 

Wliat will he do to merit such a doom ? 

Perhaps he'll love, — and is not love in vain 

Canto 3. PROPHECY OF DANTE. «48 

Torture enough without a living tomb ? 
Yet it will be so — he and his compeer, 
The Bard of Chivalry, will both consume 150 

In penury and pain too many a year. 
And, dying in despondency, bequeath 
To the kind world, which scarce will yield a tear, 

A heritage enriching all who breathe 
With the wealth of a genuine poet's soul. 
And to their country a redoubled wreath, 

Unmatch'd by time ; not Hellas can unroll 

Through her olympiads two such names, though one 
Of hers be mighty ; — and is this the whole 

Of such men's destiny beneath the sun ? 160 

Must all the finer thoughts, the thrilling sense. 
The electric blood with which their arteries run, 

Their body's self tum'd soul with the intense 
Feeling of that which is, and fancy of 
That which should be, to such a recompense 

Conduct ? shall their bright plumage on the rough 
Storm be still scatter'd ? Yes, and it must be, 


244 PROPHECY OF DANTE. Canto 3. 

For, fonn'd of far too penetrable stuff, 

These birds of Paradise but long to flee 

Back to their native mansion, soon they find 170 

Earth's mist with their pure pinions not agree, 

And die or are degraded, for the mind 
Succumbs to long infection, and despair. 
And vulture passions flying close behind, 

Await the moment to assail and tear ; 
And when at length the winged wanderers stoop, 
Then is the prey-bird's triumph, then they share 

The spoil, o'erpower'd at length by one fell swoop. 
Yet some have been untouch'd, who learn'd to bear. 
Some whom no power could ever force to droop. 

Who could resist themselves even, hardest care ! 181 
And task most hopeless ; but some such have been, 
And if my name amongst the number were, 

That destiny austere, and yet serene. 

Were prouder than more dazzling fame unblest ; 
The Alp's snow summit nearer heaven is seen 

Than the volcano's fierce eruptive crest. 

Canto 3. PROPHECY OF DANTE. 245 

Whose splendour from the black abyss is flung, 
While the scorch'd mountain, from whose burning 

A temporary torturing flame is wrung, 190 

Shines for a night of terror, then repels 
Its fire back to the hell from whence it sprung, 

The hell which in its entrails ever dwells. 




Many are poets who have never penn'd 
Their inspiration, and perchance the best : 
They felt, and loved, and died, but would not lend 

Their thoughts to meaner beings ; they compress'd 
The god within them, and rejoin'd the stars 
UnlaureU'd upon earth, but far more blest 

Than those who are degraded by the jars 
Of passion, and their frailties link'd to fame. 
Conquerors of high renown, but full of scars. 

Many are poets but without the name, 10 

248 PROPHECY OF DANTE. Canto 4. 

For what is poesy but to create 

From overfeeling good or ill ; and aim 
At an external life beyond our fate, 

And be the new Prometheus of new men, 

Bestowing fire from heaven, and then, too late. 
Finding the pleasure given repaid with pain. 

And vultures to the heart of the bestower. 

Who, having lavish'd his high gijft in vain, 
Lies chain'd to his lone rock by the sea-shore ? 

So be it : we can bear. — But thus all they, 2C 

Whose intellect is an overmastering power 
Which still recoils from its encumbering clay 

Or lightens it to spirit, whatsoe'er 

The form which their creations may essay. 
Are bards ; the kindled marble's bust may wear 

More poesy upon its speaking brow 

Than aught less than the Homeric page may bear ; 
One noble stroke with a whole life may glow. 

Or deify the canvas till it shine 

Cakto 4. PROPHECY OF DANTE. 240 

With beauty so surpassing all below, SO 

That they who kneel to idols so divine 

Break no commandment, for high heaven is there 

Transfused, transfigurated : and the Une 
Of poesy, which peoples but the air ^ 

With thought and beings of our thought reflected. 

Can do no more : then let the artist share 
The palm, he shares the peril, and dejected 

Faints o'er the labour unapproved — Alas ! 

Despair and Genius are too oft connected. 
Withm the ages which before me pass 40 

Art shall resume and equal even the sway 

Which with Apelles and old Phidias 
She held in Hellas' unforgotten day. 

Ye shall be taught by Ruin to revive 

The Grecian forms at least from their decay, 
And Roman souls at last again shall live 

In Roman works wrought by Italian hands. 

And temples, loftier than the old temples, give 

250 PROPHECY OF DANTE. Canto 4. 

New wonders to the world ; and while still stands 
The austere Pantheon, into heaven shall soar 50 

A dome, (^2) its image, while the base expands 

Into a fane siu'passing all before, ^ 

Such as all flesh shall flock to kneel in : ne'er 
Such sight hath been unfolded by a door 

As this, to which all nations shall repair 

And lay their sins at this huge gate of heaven. 
And the bold Architect unto whose care 

The daring charge to raise it shall be given. 
Whom all arts shall acknowledge as their lord. 
Whether into the marble chaos driven 60 

His chisel bid the Hebrew, (13) at whose word 
Israel left Egypt, stop the waves in stone. 
Or hues of hell be by his pencil pour'd 

Over the damn'd before the Judgment throne, (14) 
Such as I saw them, such as all shall see. 
Or fanes be built of grandeur yet unknown. 

The stream of his great thoughts shall spring from me, (i^) 

Canto 4. PROPHECY OF DANTE. 251 

The Ghibelline, who traversed the three realms 

Wliich form the empire of eternity. 
Amidst the clash of swords, and clang of helms, 70 

The age which I anticipate, no less 

Shall be the Age of Beauty, and while whelms 
Calamity the nations with distress, 

The genius of my country shall arise, 

A Cedar towering o'er the Wilderness, 
Lovely in all its branches to all eyes. 

Fragrant as fair, and recognized afar, 

Wafting its native incense through the skies. 
Sovereigns shall pause amidst their sport of war, 

Wean'd for an hour from blood, to turn and gaze 80 

On canvas or on stone j and they who mar 
All beauty upon earth, compell'd to praise. 

Shall feel the power of that which they destroy ; 

And Art's mistaken gratitude shall raise 
To tyrants who but take her for a toy 

Emblems and monuments, and prostitute 

Her charms to pontifls proud, (is) who but employ 

252 PROPHECY OF DANTE. Canto 4. 

The man of genius as the meanest brute 
To bear a burthen, and to serve a need, 
To sell his labours, and his soul to boot : 90 

Who toils for nations may be poor indeed 

But free ; who sweats for monarchs is no more 
Than the gilt chamberlain, who, clothed and fee'd, 

Stands sleek and slavish, bowing at his door. 
Oh, Power that rulest and inspirest ! how 
Is it that they on earth, whose earthly power 

Is likest thine in heaven in outward show, 
Least like to thee in attributes divine, 
Tread on the universal necks that bow, 

And then assure us that their rights are thine ? 100 
And how is it that they, the sons of fame, 
Whose inspiration seems to them to shine 

From high, they whom the nations oftest name, 
Must pass their days in penury or pain, 
Or step to grandeur through the paths of shame, 

And wear a deeper brand, and gaudier chain ? 
Or if their destiny be born aloof 

Canto 4. PROPHECY OF DANTE. 25i3 

From lowliness, or tempted thence in vain, 
In their own souls sustain a harder proof, 

The inner war of passions deep and fierce ? 110 

Florence ! when thy harsh sentence razed my roof, 
I loved thee ; but the vengeance of my verse, 

The hate of injuries which every year 

Makes greater, and accumulates my curse, 
Shall live, outliving all thou holdest dear, 

Thy pride, thy wealth, thy freedom, and even tliaty 

The most infernal of all evils here. 
The sway of petty tyrants in a state ; 

For such sway is not limited to kings, 

And demagogues yield to them but in date 120 

As swept off sooner ; in all deadly things 

Which make men hate themselves, and one another, 

In discord, cowardice, cruelty, all that springs 
From Death the Sin-born's incest with his mother, 

In rank oppression in its rudest shape. 

The faction Chief is but the Sultan's brother. 
And the worst despot's far less human ape ; 

254 PROPHECY OF DANTE. Canto 4. 

Florence ! when this lone spirit, which so long 

Yearn'd, as the captive toiling at escape, 
To fly back to thee in despite of wrong, 130 

An exile, saddest of all prisoners. 

Who has the whole world for a dimgeon strong. 
Seas, mountains, and the horizon's verge for bars. 

Which shut him from the sole small spot of earth 

Where — whatsoe'er his fate — he still were hers. 
His country's, and might die where he had birth — 

Florence ! when this lone spirit shall return 

To kindred spirits, thou wilt feel my worth. 
And seek to honour with an empty urn 

The ashes thou shalt ne'er obtain — Alas ! 140 

"What have I done to thee, my people?" (17) Stern 
Are all thy dealings, but in this they pass 

The limits of man's common maHce, for 

All that a citizen could be I was ; 
Raised by thy will, all thine in peace or war. 

And for this thou hast warr'd with me. — 'Tis done : 

I may not overleap the eternal bar 

Canto 4. PROPHECY OF DANTE. 255 

Built up between us, and will die alone, 

Beholding, with the dark eye of a seer. 

The evil days to gifted souls foreshown, 150 

Foretelling them to those who will not hear. 

As in the old time, till the hour be come 

When Truth shall strike their eyes through many a tear, 
And make them own the Prophet in his tomb. 




Note 1, page 217* line 11. 

Midst xvhom my own bright Beatrice bless d. 
The reader is requested to adopt the Italian pronunciation 
of Beatrice, sounding all the syllables. 

Note % page 218, line 15. 
My Paradise had still been incomplete, 

" Che sol per le belle opre 

" Che fanno in Cielo il sole e 1* altre stelle 

" Dentro di lui si crede il Paradiso, 

" Cos! se guardi fiso 

" Pensar ben dei ch' ogni terren' piacere. 

Canzone, in which Dante describes the person of Beatrice, 
Strophe third. 

Note 3, page 220, line 7. 
/ ivould have had my Florence great and free, 

" L' Esilio che m' e dato onor mi tegno. 

* * * * * 

" Cader tra' buoni e pur di lode degno." 

Sonnet ofDantCt 
in which he represents Right, Generosity, and Temperance 
as banished from among men, and seeking refuge from Love, 
who inhabits his bosom. 


Note 4, page 2*21, line 3. 
The dust she dooms to scatter* 
*' Ut si quis predictorum ullo tempore in fortiam dicti com- 
munis pervenerit, talis perveniens igne comburatur, sic quod 

Second sentence of Florence against Dante, and the fourteen 
accused with him. — The Latin is worthy of the sentence. 

Note 5, page 225, last line. 
Where yet my boys are, and that fatal she. 
This lady, whose name was Gemma, sprung from one of 
the most powerful Guelf families, named Donati. Corso 
Donati was the principal adversary of the Ghibellines. She 
is described as being *' Admodum morosa, ut de Xantippe 
Socratis philosophi conjuge scriptum esse legimus" according 
to Giannozzo Manetti. But Lionardo Aretino is scandalized 
with Boccace, in his life of Dante, for saying that literary men 
should not marry. " Qui il Boccaccio non ha pazienza, e 
dice, le mogli esser contrarie agli studj j e non si ricorda che 
Socrate il piu nobile filosofo che mai fusse ebbe moglie, 
e figliuoli e uffici della Repubblica mella sua Citta ; e Aris- 
totele che, &c. &c. ebbe due mogli in varj tempi, ed ebbe 
figliuoli, e ricchezze assai. — E Marco Tullio — e Catone — 
e Varrone, e Seneca— ebbero moglie," &c. &c. It is odd that 
honest Lionardo's examples, with the exception of Seneca, 
and, for any thing I know, of Aristotle, are not the most 
felicitous. TuUy's Terentia, and Socrates' Xantippe, by no 
means contributed to their husbands* happiness, whatever 
they might do to their philosophy — Cato gave away his wife 
— of Varro's we know nothing — and of Seneca's, only that 
she was disposed to die with him, but recovered, and lived 


several years afterwards. But, says Lionardo, " L* uoino ^ 
aiiimale civile, secondo place a tutti i filosofi." And thence 
concludes that the greatest proof of the animafs cixusm is 
** la prima congiunzione, dalla quale multiplicata nasce la 

Note 6, page 231, line 19. 
Nine moons shall rise o'er scenes like this and set. 
See ** Sacco di Roma," generally attributed taGuicciardini. 
There is another written by a Jacopo Buonaparte, Gentiluomo 
Samminiatese che vi si trovo presente. 

Note 7, page 237> line 17. 
Conquerors on foreign shores^ and the far wave. 
Alexander of Parma, Spinola, Pescara, Eugene of Savoy, 

Note 8, page 237, line 18. 
Discoverers of new worlds, which take their name, 
Columbus, Americus Vespusius, Sebastian Cabot. 

Note 9, page 239, line 13. 
He who once enters in a tyrant's hall, Sfc, 
A verse from the Greek tragedians, with which Ponipey 
took leave of Cornelia on entering the boat in which he was 

Note 10, page 239, line 16. 
And thejirst day which sees the chain enthral, SfC, 
The verse and sentiment are taken from Homer. 


Note 11, page 240, line 13. 
And hct their prince) shall rank among my peers* 

Note 12, page 250, line 3. 
A domey its image. 
The cupola of St. Peter's. 

Note 13, page 250, line 13. 
His chisel bid the Hebrew. 
The statue of Moses on the monument of Julius II. 

Di Giovanni Battista Zappi. 

Chi h costui, che in dura pietra scolto, 
Siede gigante 3 e le piii illustre, e conte 
Prove dell' arte avvanza, e ha vive, e pronte 
Le labbia si, che le parole ascolto ? 

Quest' e Mose j ben me'l diceva il folto 

Onor del mento, e' 1 doppio raggio in fronte. 
Quest' eMose, quando scendea del monte, 
E gran parte del Nume avea nel volto. 

Tal era allor, che le sonanti, e vaste 
Acque ei sospese a se d' intorno, e tale 
Quando il mar chiuse, e ne fe tomba altrui. 

E voi sue turbe un rio vitello alzate ? 
Alzata aveste imago a questa eguale ! 
Ch' era men fallo Y adorar costui. 


Note 14, page 250, line 16. 
Over the damiid before the Judgment throne. 
The Last Judgment in the Sistine chapel. 

Note 15, page 250, last line. 

The stream of his great thoughts shall spring from me. 

I have read somewhere (if I do not err, for I cannot recol- 
lect where) that Dante was so great a favourite of Michel 
Angiolo's, that he had designed the whole of the Divina 
Commedia j but that the voliune containing these studies was 
lost by sea. ♦ 

Note 16, page 251, last line. 

Her charms to pontiffs proud, who but employ, Sfc, 

See the treatment of Michel Angiolo by Julius II., and his 
neglect by Leo X. 

Note 17> page 254, line 14. 

" What have I done to thee, my people f" 

" E scrisse piii volte non solamente a particular! cittadin 
del reggimento, ma ancora al popolo, e intra 1' altre un 
Epistola assai lunga che comincia : — ' Popule mi, quid feci 

Vita di Dante scritta da Lionardo Aretino. 






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